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Apple Fritters


Those of you who follow my column may have noted the occasional references to ancient cookbooks. One of my favorites, The Forme of Cury (which means The Method of Cooking), comes to us from the fourteenth century and was written by the master chefs to King Richard II. This recipe is inspired by a recipe in the book, named therein Apple Frytours. Of course, proportions are not given and cooking methods have changed just a wee bit over the centuries, so the recipes are updated and modernized for today’s cook. Still, when you serve these to your kids, it will be pretty cool to tell them that King Richard of England ate the same dish over 700 years ago. (Or nerdy, depending on how you interpret life. Personally, I think it’s cool.)  

In the Forme of Cury, this is a recipe for parsnip and apple fritters, with instructions to make a “batter of flour and eggs [and] cast [I love it!] thereto ale, saffron, and salt.” Luckily, I had the brilliant idea to leave out the parsnips, but please, you must not forget to cast your ingredients together.


Prepare the Apple Fritters

1. Toss the apples with two tablespoons of the sugar. Cook over medium heat in a covered pot, stirring occasionally, until the apples are slightly softened and the juices are released, about 15 minutes. Drain the apples and set aside to cool.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, ale or beer, and milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and remaining sugar until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and whisk just until moistened; the batter will be thick and lumpy.
3. Heat about 1/4 inch oil in a large skillet. Dip the apple rings in the batter to coat, then shake off the excess batter. Fry the fritters over medium-high heat until golden brown, about three minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
4. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top. Serve about three fritters per person.