I used Belgrove’s lovely white rye spirit for this, the stuff they then age to make whisky. You could substitute brandy or whisky made from barley for a different result. Same with the pork fat. It’s a terrific medium that makes for a really nice fritter, but you could get away with vegetable oil for a more mainstream version. Matthew Evans, Gourmet Farmer Series 4
Warm, crisp, sweet and spicy. It can only be an apple fritter!
- 4 apples
- 60 ml rye spirit, whisky or brandy
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- small pinch saffron threads
- clean flavoured pork fat or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- ground cinnamon mixed with caster sugar, to serve
- 2 eggs, separated
- good pinch salt
- 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
- 200 ml water
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 1 hour
Core and peel the apples and cut each into rings about 7 mm-thick. Toss the apple rings in a shallow dish with the alcohol, sugar and saffron. It’s good to let them macerate for an hour or so, to allow time for the flavours meld and the saffron to surrender its lovely colour.
For the batter, beat the yolks with the salt until well combined. Stir in the flour and water alternately in small amounts until you have a smooth batter. Stand for 30 minutes.
When ready to cook, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the beaten egg whites into the batter along with 1-2 tablespoons of the apple macerating liquid.
Heat at least 2 cm fat or oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in small batches, dip the apple slices in the batter, making sure that they are well covered. Lower each slice carefully into the hot oil and cook until golden. The oil must be sizzling gently, but not too hot or the fritters will brown before the apple is soft inside. Turn and cook the other side until golden, then drain on paper towel. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar and serve warm with vanilla ice-cream.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Lucy Tweed. Food preparation by Tammi Kwok. Creative concept by Belinda So.