Wednesday, February 17, 2010

When like gives you apples...make apple fritters

Through a variety of surprising means, I found myself with a massive bowl of apples on the Saturday before Super Bowl. I had no specific plans for these apples and had pretty much resigned myself to cooking all 30 of them (yes, 30) down into apple sauce to freeze for later baking endeavors. I like to do this whenever my apples start to get mushy (I will not tolerate a mushy apple!) and then I freeze it by the cup in little baggies to use in baking or to serve on top of pancakes.

 A bowl of fritters - ready to go to the game...

However, on this particular Saturday I found myself in need of a dish to take to a Super Bowl party and the bowl of apples just wouldn't stop staring me down. I starting browsing through the many recipe search engines available online today and found a tempting recipe for apple fritters. These weren't your typical doughnut shop-style mountains of goo - they were simply beer-battered (this was for Super Bowl after all) slices of apples deep fried and topped with cinnamon and sugar goodness.

 a hint of citrus, cinnamon and sugar give these fritters a traditional doughnut feel

To make these little slices, you need to use a type of apple that will stay together as it cooks - Granny Smith apples are a perfect example of this, whereas Macintosh apples typically just fall apart. I also think that a light-colored beer (like a blond or IPA) is best for the beer batter as the dark ales leave a slight bitterness behind - but I may be alone on this one.

 Citrus beer batter (good for savory things like broccoli too!)

Lastly, another interesting thing about the fritters is that when they first came out of the oil and were still relatively hot they didn't have much flavor...perhaps the batter was just too overpowering or maybe not enough oil had dripped off. BUT, as they cooled down the apple flavor was much more pronounced and tasted delicious with its crispy, sugary envelope.

 Dip, fry and eat

These went down quick and were almost gone by halftime and I would recommend them as a quick and impressive dessert - especially when served with a little vanilla bean ice cream or even vanilla yogurt.

(adapted from Gourmet 2001)

individual apple fritters

makes about 48 fritters

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup light beer (such as a blonde)
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
6 cups canola oil (this is healthier for you than most oils)
3 apples (granny smiths are the preferred sort, but any firm apple will do)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 cup sugar (for dusting)
2 Tbsp cinnamon (for dusting)

- Peel your apples and core them
- Cut each apple into 16 equal slices, toss with lemon juice (to keep from browning)
- In a deep, medium-sized saucepan heat the oil until it reaches 375 degrees (or you can test it with some of your batter).
- While oil is heating, whisk together flour, beer, sugar, salt and zest
- Dip the apple slices in the batter and drop (but not from too far a distance as oil will splatter you) into the oil. You should be able to fit about 6-8 slices in the pot at once. But don't overcrowd because they will cook together like siamese fritters.
- Cook for about 5 minutes on one side and flip the fritters over until they are a golden brown on both sides.
- Remove the fritters from oil and place on a piece of cardboard or a stack of paper towels for dripping (this step is really important because otherwise these little guys are really oily).
- Once the fritters have cooled enough to handle coat them with the mixture of the sugar and the cinnamon.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, the pictures look so yummy, I almost licked the monitor, hahaha! Nice job, Alelia!