Apple Fritters

Author: Justin
Makes about two dozen small fritters

3 medium apples 1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp black pepper 1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Peel the apples.  Boil them in water for about fifteen minutes, until they are starting to come apart a little.  Drain and rinse with cool water.  Cut them up, removing and discarding the core and stem.

Mash the apples until they are a slightly lumpy liquid.  Gradually add sugar, flour and spices and mix well.  The result should form a slightly sticky batter.

Heat a skillet with about 1/2" or so of vegetable oil until quite hot -- a drop of the batter should begin to brown within ten seconds.

Drop the batter into the liquid, rolling about a heaping teaspoonful of batter in at a time.  Let sizzle for a few seconds, then scrape off the bottom (if sticking) and flip.  If the oil is hot enough, should only need around 15 seconds or so on each side to hit a decently dark brown.  Remove with slotted spoon to a paper-towel covered plate.

Serve immediately, while still piping hot.  Goes well with the dip described in the Notes.

Notes and Variations

This is a tasty fritter -- slightly sweet, slightly appley, slightly spiced.  If the oil is hot enough, it isn't in the oil long enough to get particularly greasy.  In general, they were eaten about as fast as they could be cooked, which is the sign of a good fritter.

We wound up eating it with an unrelated dipping sauce that Ailis happened to be reconstructing at the same time, from Take a Thousand Eggs or More.  I don't know the particulars offhand, but it was a warm sauce apparently composed of honey, red wine, ginger and cinnamon.  It went marvelously with the fritters.


Reconstructed by Justin at Cooks' Guild, October '03.  Original source is the Cuoco Napoletano, published at The Neapolitan Recipe Collection (University of Michigan, 2000; Terence Scully, ed. & tr.).  The recipe is on pg. 203:
176.  Apple Fritters
Peel and clean the apples carefully and boil them or else cook them carefully under the coals; then remove the good part, grind it up, put it with flour and sugar, distemper it with either rosewater or plain water, with good spices, and fry it in good oil.
I didn't find additional water to be warranted and wound up omitting it.  Obviously, the spices were pure guesswork: I chose what I think of as the standard "sweet" spices in fairly normal proportions.