When I knew Hay Hay its Donna Day was coming up and the theme was fritters I knew it was time for me to enter the fray - it is my first foodie internet event/competition. I tend to shy away from competition, too scared of losing too scared of winning is the way I think of them. When I analyse this, I am quite sure I learned this lesson a very hard way when I was 16 years old, from my blonde and buxom best friend who as it turned out wasn't just very competitive with me at English. When she saw that I was interested in a boy at school she did her best - i.e. battered her eyelashes at him and I ran a very poor second.
Anyway I digress from a lesson learned long ago and onto happier things. Originally I had thoughts of preparing a family fritter "Corn and prawn fritters." I did a post on them a long time ago as part of a banquet based on family recipes when I first began this blog. I also gave some thought to revisiting some pea and haloumi fritters I did about three months ago but failed to post as my photography of them was quite appalling.
Late this afternoon I realised I hadn't bought the prawns or the haloumi I needed for those two fritters so I had to quickly consider something else. Two of the concepts I decided to keep in mind when coming up with a new fritter for which I would have the ingredients readily at hand was "traditional" and "family".
For the "family" part, I chose the plate pictured to serve the dessert on. The plate was recently given to me by my mother and it was from her mother. I don't think it is a fancy, smanchy brand name piece it simply states at the back "Made in Japan" but the fact it was from a woman to whom I am closely related and have never met and yet this woman means so much to my mother I thought it was perfect to use today. There are 2 of these plates and are rarely used by me but when I do, it is always with some reverence.
The recipe for the fritters is my concoction of a few recipes that can be found scattered on the internet. When making up the recipe I wanted to use rings of sliced apple, and a thick, airy, batter. As a result I think they look almost like doughnuts, indeed that's what Elliot thought they were.
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons vanilla castor sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmegcanola oil for deep frying
3 Braeburn apples(for approximately 4 serves)
Cinnamon Icing sugar for dusting
The apple of choice for us lately is the Braeburn, which is crisp, slightly tart & yet sweet. The perfect size for Elliot's lunch box, if it were too big there would be too much wastage as he would be throwing it away as there isn't time to eat a big apple and play Mum!
Out of the couple of dozen or so we have eaten over the past month only 1 or 2 have been on the floury side so pretty good percentages all up as far as I am concerned. I chose a couple of these apples for the fritters and cut them into rings. I made them about 1 cm wide and cut the core out of the centre.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and nutmeg. Add the egg and milk and beat with a whisk until well combined. The mixture should be quite thick. Leave to stand for about 20 minutes.
In a deep saucepan, heat some canola oil over a medium heat. I checked my oil was hot enough by dropping a tiny bit of the batter in and see if the oil did its trick.
Dip the apple rings in the batter and add them to the heated oil. I did mine one by one as I used my smallest saucepan the bigger the saucepan the more you could do at once but probably no more than 3 is the best idea.
My oil was a bit too hot so I had to work very quickly ensuring the fritters were obtaining an even colour and then removing them to a plate topped with baking paper to drain. I knew the apple wouldn't be as cooked as I wanted but I also didn't want them to burn. So next time I think keep the oil on a lower heat or I thought I might microwave the apples for a couple of minutes before battering and frying.
I am so sick of editing this post but another good idea would have been to put these in a warmed oven at 100 degrees celcius for about 10 minutes so they would have cooked through and warmed the apple more.
To serve: I dusted the fritters with some icing sugar I had added some cinnamon to, and drizzled maple syrup over the ice-cream and fritters. Finally I scattered my lovely Pariya roses I got from the Essential Ingredient in Melbourne all over the plate. The roses provide the most gorgeous perfume to this dessert.
I made these fritters again with the left over batter last night and given that the first time I was trying to make, photograph and post within hours of the competition closing ,I was afforded a more leisurely approach and the finished product was much improved.
I used 2 braeburn apples and after I sliced them into rings I microwaved them for 2 minutes. So they were perfect on the inside. I moderated the heat of my oil better this time not too hot, produced fritters perfectly cooked through, (without resorting to the oven) so it meant I had a crispy outside as well.
It cannot be stated enough, just how well the combination of the Pariya roses and maple syrup enhance this dessert through the combination of flavour and fragrance!
For the full round-up of F is for Fritter for Hay Hay Its Donna Day head to Milk and Cookies after the 22 October for voting. The very talented jenjen will be announcing a winner soon after that.