This wonderful recipe, adapted from Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food and introduced to me by the appropriately named and equally wonderful cook, Jo Cook, is heavenly with vanilla ice-cream. The recipe says it serves four, and it looks like a lot to eat, but somehow four people always manage to get through them all. They remind me of the apple fritters I used to have at the Chinese restaurant at the RSL on Friday nights growing up.
- 4 sharp-flavoured apples (granny smith or golden delicious), cored, peeled
- 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 60 ml (¼ cup) brandy or dark rum
- 2 eggs, separated, whites beaten to stiff peaks
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra, to deep-fry
- 150 g plain flour (1 cup), plus extra, to dust
- 200 ml cider
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- vanilla ice-cream, to serve
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.
Standing time 1 hour
Cut each apple into 4 x 1.5 cm-thick slices widthwise through the core, to create rings. Place in a shallow dish with 2 tbsp sugar and brandy and toss to coat. Set aside for 1 hour to macerate, stirring occasionally.
Whisk egg yolks with 2 tbsp oil and a pinch of salt until combined. Whisk in the flour alternately with the cider in 4 batches until you have a smooth batter. Set aside for 1 hour, then fold in the beaten egg whites.
Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with extra vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 160°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 20 seconds). Working in batches of 4, dust apple slices in extra flour, then dip in batter. Allow batter to drain off, then gently drop into oil and fry, turning halfway, for 3 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Combine remaining 2 tbsp caster sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl, sprinkle on fritters while warm, and serve with ice-cream.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 12, pg42.
Photography by Alan Benson