Thursday, September 16, 2010

i love you a bushel and a peck

nothing says autumn like a basket
 of just-picked
crunchy, barely-sweet apples
 in need of a good shine
courtesy of my shirt sleeve

there is little i can resist
as the fall colors begin to show
in most of the country
here i sit
in southern california
adjusting my air conditioning
wishing i were elsewhere

last week
hubster and i were in connecticut
taking in the beauty of new england
from our perch in a historic lighthouse
while on a drive
stumbled upon an old cider mill
it was too early in the season
which meant we couldn't watch the mill in action
as a consolation prize
they were serving freshly made donuts
which didn't last long enough 
for a photo shoot
they were pretty good
but not real
and i like

and rather than be haunted by it
for one more day
i got busy in the kitchen
frying up
apple fritters
Apple Fritters
(printable recipe)
for the apples
1 cup apples--cut in a 1/4" dice
(i used granny smith)
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs lemon juice
pinch cardamom
pinch nutmeg
pinch cinnamon
mix together in a bowl and let sit while you do your preparations
for the batter
1 cup apple cider
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbs unsalted butter--melted
2 large eggs
oil for frying
simmer the apple cider on the stove until it is reduced to 1/4 cup, and let cool.
 heat your oil in a sturdy deep pot, to 360F.  your oil should be deep enough so the fritter can float, but you must also have at least 3" between the top of the pot and the top of the oil. 
 meanwhile, place all your dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.  make a well in the center and pour in milk, vanilla, butter, cider and eggs.  slowly stir together, making sure all ingredients are incorporated, but do not beat.  stir in the apple and any juices that may have accumulated. you can make these small or big, the process is the same.  drop into hot oil and then using a spatula poke it a few times to flatten it a bit and give it some nooks and crannies.  fry until golden brown, then flip and continue until both sides are equally colored.  remove from oil and place on a cooling rack, placed over a sheet pan.
for the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs (more or less) cider
mix together in a shallow bowl.  when the fritters are still warm, but not too hot to touch, dip in the glaze.

i am not a nutritionist
but i know a thing or two
about a thing or two
and i can say
with certainty
that these are not healthy
despite the apple
in a guilt infused moment
i decided to throw some of the batter into a muffin tin
and pop them in the oven
at 350F
and when they came out
i dipped them in the glaze

they are pretty good
maybe a bit dense
but they are moist
and apple-y
and ever so slightly


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