I do love a good fritter. They’re simple to make, using a batter as easy to whisk together as if you were making pancakes. Having made corn dogs for a kids’ party on the weekend, I decided to try cooking slices of tart apple in the same batter, spiked with maple syrup – the result was fantastic. Warm, sweet fritters with a crunchy cornmeal coating make a delicious snack when you’re coming in from the cold. They would make a perfect addition to a festive brunch or dessert table, too.
The batter is easily whisked together – the same as making pancakes. Let it sit for 20 minutes to allow it to thicken as the grains absorb some of the liquid.
Tart, flavorful apples or ripe but firm pears are perfect for fritters – don’t bother peeling them, but slice them about 1/4″ thick, then cut out their cores. Wedges work, too – just make sure they aren’t too thick, or they won’t cook through.
Shower with powdered sugar while they’re still warm. Yum.
Maple Cornmeal Apple Fritters
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 apples, cored and thinly sliced
canola oil, for frying
powdered sugar, for dusting
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, syrup, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the middle, and add the buttermilk, egg and baking soda; whisk until well blended. Set aside to rest for 20 minutes.
In a deep, heavy pot, heat a few inches of oil until it’s hot, but not smoking – you’ll know when it’s at the right temperature by dipping a piece of bread or a bit of cornmeal batter – it should start sizzling around it right away. If the oil is too cool, the fritters will take too long to cook and will absorb too much oil, making them heavy. If it’s too hot, they will cook too quickly on the outside, turning dark before they cook through.
Dip the apple slices a few at a time in the cornmeal batter, dunking them to coat. Place them no more than two or three at a time (you don’t want to crowd the pot, or it will cool down your oil) into the hot oil, and turn them as they need it until they are golden. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels.
Once cooled slightly, shower with powdered sugar and serve warm. Makes lots.