On a drizzly weekend in September the boys and I headed out to make the most of our National Trust membership. We’ve been exploring the immediate area and have visited Grey’s Court, Cliveden, Runnymede and most recently Benjamin Disraeli’s country home, Hughenden Manor. It was one of those days, the kids didn’t really want to be there and the weather was not great, so we didn’t actually end up going inside Queen Victoria’s favourite minister’s house and decided instead to stick to the grounds. We almost missed the walled garden that has been rejuvenated by volunteers and would have once been the garden that supplied the household with its produce. There are loads of apple trees in the garden containing varieties I’d never heard of. I asked if I could pick some and was informed that I must wait until Apple Day on October 13/14th when the public is invited celebrate the English apple with stalls for tasting different varieties, apple pressing and other activities.
So while I couldn’t pick apples straight from the tree, I did buy some Grenadier cooking apples from the baskets of fallen apples available. I was dreaming of apple crumble but I thought I should probably get a little more creative and think up something new to share with you. As roast lamb was on the menu that very night, I thought perhaps I’d make a mint jelly and finish up with some apple fritters for dessert. According to the apple experts, “if you want an early-season English cooking apple, Grenadier is the one – good flavour for all sorts of culinary uses, very easy to grow, and crops well.”
I’ll post the mint-jelly another time – perhaps with my rosemary lamb roast-rub. For now though, I’ll share the fritter recipe. They look rich I know, like they’ve been over-fried or smothered in maple syrup but it’s just the spices that make them appear a little darker than usual. I tried serving my fritters rolled in cinnamon-sugar and brushed with a cider glaze. I couldn’t decide which was better, so you’ll just have to try it out for yourself and decide.
Apple Fritter Recipe
2 Granny Smith (or Grenadier!) apples, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup apple cider (I used Appletiser)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
oil for frying
Dry off apple pieces with paper towel.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Through the apples in an toss.
Combine all the wet ingredients into a bowl. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined.
Heat oil to 180C if using a machine, or if you’re using a pot, just keep an eye on the heat.
Scoop small mounds of fritter mixture into the oil and fry, turning, until golden brown.
Place the hot fritters on paper towel to absorb excess oil, and then while hot dip into bowl of sugar and cinnamon. Roll around until coated.
If you’re glazing, mix some icing sugar in a bowl with some cider until you get a runny, white consistency. Drizzle over cooled fritters.