When the English first settled in the New World they brought with them apples and began growing trees. In the early cookery recipe books apples were called pippins. Fritter simply means food fried in a batter. The batter recipes that they brought with them used yeast for the leavening in the batter. Yeast came from making ale. The yeast was skimmed off the top of the ale and place in a bottle. This bottled ale was then used for it’s yeast. So 18th century cookery books would call for ale in batters and bread making. This was the ale they were talking about, the stuff that was skimmed off the top while the ale was fermenting. This scum that was on the top contained yeast.
Today we have baking powder to leaven quick bread. But the recipe is still basically the same that was made during the Colonial period just minus the ale. It is a simple recipe that takes only a few ingredients. There is very little sugar in the batter but the fritter can be dusted with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar after frying. Sugar was a luxury food in the Colonies. This recipe yields about 18 fritters. It is a nice change from doughnuts and not expensive to make. This is a special treat when you are out of ideas and money.
Oil for deep frying
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tablespoons oil
- 2 apples peeled, cored and chopped
Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Beat eggs, milk and oil together and set aside. Heat oil while preparing apples.
Oil should be at heated to 375 degrees. If you don’t have an electric skillet or deep fryer you can use a heavy pot on the stove with a cooking thermometer to check temperature.
Mix wet and dry ingredients together. Do not over mix because you want your fritters to be soft and tender. Add chopped apples and coat with mixture.
Use a tablespoon or ice cream scoop to drop batter into hot oil. Fry until golden brown on both sides turning once. It takes about 5 minutes depending on size of fritters. Remove and drain on wire rack or paper towels.
To finish them off just dust with powered sugar. You can also use granulated sugar mixed with a little cinnamon.
I save my oil after use by straining the cooled off oil into a jar. Then I store it in the refrigerator. I usually use it 3 or 4 times before it breaks down. If you fry something strong flavored like fish or onion rings you will need to discard it afterwards because the oil absorbed the flavor. The next time it is used it will pass that flavor to the food.