What I Liked
I could hear thunder roaring in the distance. A slight fall drizzle began to cut through the chilled air. I needed something that would warm me up, but that was also quick and easy. I can’t think of a better thing to make on a rainy fall day than apple fritters. This recipe produces a light and airy apple fritter that I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into. It was originally a recipe for strawberry fritters, but strawberries are out of season. Thankfully the recipe is lenient with the fruit that can be used. I settled for apple. I loved the simplicity of this recipe. The ingredients were basic, and for the most part I had them on hand. Milk can be used in a pinch as a substitute for the cream. I fried my apple fritter in lard for the historical integrity of the recipe. However, you can use any oil you deem appropriate for frying.
Leaf lard is the gold standard for lard. I used to be able to find non-hydrogenated lard in the grocery store. Today when I was out and about I had a heck of a time finding it. Lard has a variety of uses. You can fry in it, put it in tamales or refried beans, or use in a pie crust. One of my most popular recipes on this site is a pie crust recipe from 1881. In that recipe they call for lard. I swear by it now, and refuse to make a pie crust without it. You can get yours here.
Original Apple Fritter Recipe
Des beignets aux fraises
For this you must make a batter of another sort from what you have seen before; to two eggs well beat, whites and yolks both, put about half a pint of cream, made thick with fine flour, a little fine sugar and nutmeg, put your strawberries in raw, and fry them in a pan of clean lard, a spoonful at a time, dish them up in a pyramid and sift sugar between and at top. This is a pretty way of making fritters with any sort of fruit.
On a side note. I love this cookbook. It has the French title of the recipe followed by the English translation. This recipe has no set measurements, so I did my best to come up with a serviceable apple fritter.
2 eggs well beat
1 cup cream
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
dash of nutmeg (optional)
1 Granny Smith apple
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Place a tablespoon at a time in hot oil. Fry in oil of choice on medium heat for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Roll in cinnamon sugar when they come out of the oil. Enjoy while warm.
What I Learned
The choice of apple is essential. I wanted an intense apple flavor and opted for a fuji apple. I love the flavor of fuji apples and thought that would translate to the fritter. When I make apple pie I use the standard Granny Smith apple. I was hesitant to use Granny Smith on this recipe because it didn’t call for as much sugar as I typically use in my apple pie recipe. I didn’t want the apple fritter to be too tart. However, after eating the recipe prepared with Fuji apples, I feel that Granny Smith is a dessert apple of choice for a reason. The tart apple will cut through the sweetness of the sugar and elevate this delightful morsel, while highlighting that true apple flavor we know and love.
I loved cooking this recipe and learned a lot. The original recipe is for a strawberry fritter. However, because it is fall, I felt apples would be more in season than strawberries. The recipe states that you can use your fruit of choice. My mind was buzzing with different options that would be a good fit. I’d love to try it with some fresh strawberries or blackberries.
Complete System of Cookery, By William Verral, Master of the White-Hart Inn in Lewes Sussex, Published in 1759.