• Pineapple and banana fritters (Murdoch Books)Source: Murdoch Books

While these two fruity fritters were once the only dessert offerings at fish and chip shops around the nation, my fondest memory of them was from the local drive-in outdoor movie theatre. 






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (7 votes)

I’m not sure whether the drive-in actually sold them, or whether we bought fish and chips on the way to eat during the movie. Where we bought them wasn’t exactly my focus — it was the way we enjoyed them, together as a family, watching a movie, in our car! Those nights provided many happy moments for me. Where did all those drive-ins go, anyway? They’d just about disappeared from Sydney by the time I was dating… so ripped off!

No sweets with my sweetheart at the drive-in. I’ve added a little spice and coconut to the batter, but feel free to omit these. I also suggest serving the fritters with Rum & Raisin ice cream and drizzled with caramel syrup. And eating them while watching a movie at home. Now that I can do with my love — or on my own!


  • mild-flavoured oil, for deep-frying
  • 110 g (3¾ oz/¾ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 20 g (¾ oz/¼ cup) shredded coconut
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • a pinch of ground cardamom (optional)
  • ¼ tsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) cold soda water (club soda) or sparkling mineral water
  • 6 half-moons of fresh, ripe juicy pineapple, each 1.5 cm (⁵⁄₈ inch) thick (see Note), or 3 bananas, peeled and cut in half lengthways
  • caster (superfine) sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Cook's notes

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.


One-third fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with oil and heat to 180°C (350°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 15 seconds.

Put the flour, coconut, spices, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add most of the soda water and whisk until smooth. The batter should be reasonably runny, but still thick enough to coat the fruit. If it is too thick, add a little more soda water. (The moisture content of flour can be affected by the weather.)

When the oil is hot, dip the fruit into the batter, then cook in small batches for 4–5 minutes, or until the batter is deep golden and crisp, and the fruit is just cooked through and hot. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with a little caster (superfine) sugar, if desired.

Keep warm in a low oven while you finish cooking the remaining fritters. Serve hot.



• If your fresh pineapple is a little under-ripe, you could first cook the discs in a light sugar syrup in a small saucepan, to make nthem more tender and sweet. Cool, then drain before dipping them in batter. Conversely, if your pineapple is particularly succulent and wet when you slice it, you might need to lightly dust it in flour before you dip in batter. If pineapples are not in season, just use tinned, unsweetened pineapple rings instead; drain them well before dipping them in the batter.


Recipe and image from Milkbar Memories by Jane Lawson (Murdoch Books, $39.99). 

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