Monday, 5 December 2011

Celebrating Two Holidays on One Day: Apple Fritters

Especially for those of you who don't typically keep track of the national food holidays, perhaps you didn't know that last Thursday was "Eat a Red Apple Day" and Friday was "National Fritter Day." Indeed, my response came in the form of none other than red apple fritters, cooked and tender gala apple slices enrobed in a batter much like funnel cake which provides a nostalgic fair-time crunch. While many fritter recipes called for small cubes of fruit to be mixed into the fritter batter and fried up in rounded scoops, I had first envisioned and eventually carried out fritter slices, as exemplified by Paula Dean.

Begin by heating at least 3/4" canola oil in a deep pan that can take the heat. In a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: 2 c all-purpose flour, 1/2 c packed light brown sugar, 1 T baking powder, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. To this dry mix, add and combine well 2 large eggs and 1 c whole milk. The batter will be rather thick, so feel free to add a touch more milk to thin it out.

As apples brown fairly easily, core a gala apple and cut it into 1/4"-1/3" slices. With the apples I had, I was able to get 2 dozen slices.

Do your best to coat the apple slices with the batter. To a certain extent, you may just need to get globs of batter and "paint" it onto the slices, as I found it rather difficult to stick without doing so. As this process in itself takes a while, this is why I suggest only coring and slicing one apple at a time. If you prefer, you can get all your slices cut in advance; be sure to squeeze on some lemon juice to slow down the browning process. For this recipe, I used two gala apples and easily got 4 dozen apple fritters, and I still had quite a bit of fritter batter left over.

After testing your oil (as the Pioneer Woman does by dropping a small mound of fritter batter; it should fry and brown quickly, get your coated apples into the oil.

Fry the slices for about 45 sec - 1 min per side, or until golden brown and crispy.

Allow the fritters to cool off for a few minutes, preferably on some paper towel to absorb any excess frying oil. Though wonderful on their own, go ahead and serve them pseudo-warm with powdered sugar. What I particularly like is the fact that, unlike elephant ears, etc., the crispy exterior holds onto its crunch long after the slices are fried. But then again, how long would these really last? For the complete album, click here.

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