On weekend mornings, I love mixing together sweet treats – pancakes, scones, waffles or doughnuts – to linger over coffee with. I’ve recently discovered how simple it is to make crisp fritters out of sweet-tart apple wedges dipped into a simple whisk-together batter. Apple fritters from the coffee shop have nothing on these – a quick stint in oil produces a golden, crunchy exterior and cooks the apple just enough to soften it while retaining its flavour. A quick dusting with powdered sugar and you have a jumble of warm treats that will make anyone smile on a winter morning, or chilly afternoon with a mug of tea or hot chocolate. They’re also perfect for a party or weekend brunch.
Choose tart apples, which tend to have more flavour; they’ll translate into a more flavourful fritter. The batter is simple to stir together, and easy to cook in hot canola or other mild vegetable oil – they’re less fuss than a batch of doughnuts. Make sure the oil is hot, but not smoking; if the fritters cook too quickly, turn the heat down. Make sure you only cook a few at a time; crowding the pan could make the fritters bump into each other, while cooling down the cooking oil.
Try making these fritters with ripe but firm pears, too, or spike the batter with a pinch of cinnamon.
Apple Wedge Fritters
1-2 tart apples, unpeeled
1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) cornstarch
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) baking soda
3/4 cup (185 mL) water or soda water
canola oil, for frying
powdered sugar, for dusting
Core and slice apples into wedges no more than 1/2″ thick on the skin end. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and water – you should have a mixture with the consistency of heavy cream.
In a wide pot, heat an inch or two of canola oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Dip a few wedges of apple at a time into the batter, coating them completely, then gently slip into the oil. Cook 2-3 at a time for a minute or two, flipping with tongs as necessary, until golden. (Don’t crowd the pot, or it will cool the oil down. If they are cooking too quickly, turn the heat down – if it’s taking too long, the oil may need to be hotter.)
Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain. Once cool enough to handle, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Serve warm.
Makes about 2 dozen.