Wild Yeast Apple Fritters
(These fritters are quite rich so 3 apples are usually sufficient for 4 people, or possibly more than 4 if served with ice cream)
These deliciously, crunchy on the outside and juicy in the middle, apple fritters work wonderfully with Prune, Armagnac and Honey Ice Cream. This easy-to-make ice cream recipe is in the ‘February’ chapter of ‘Sourdough Suppers’. A pile of autumn raspberries also make an excellent accompaniment to these fritters, when in season.
If you enjoy a little spice add a generous pinch of cinnamon, a scratch of nutmeg and a pinch of ground cloves.
There are a wide range of heritage apple varieties available, although you may have to look carefully. A good local farmers market or orchard would be my first port-of-call; this recipe is a wonderful opportunity to try some more unusual apple varieties.
Remember to prepare your wild yeast culture beforehand- remove it from the fridge and feed it to ensure that it is frisky (see ‘Preparing for Baking Instructions in ‘Sourdough Suppers’).
Try not to over-heat the oil, so that it can be strained and reused several times.
40g Strong Plain Flour (eg Shipton Mill’s Organic No4)
Pinch Maldon Sea Salt
3-4g Caster Sugar
85g Badoit/Perrier Sparkling Water (or any good quality sparkling water or a fizzy cider)
75g Frisky Wild Yeast Culture
3 Eating apples, eg Cox’s, Egremont Russet, Golden Delicious (peeled, cored, and cut into ½cm rings)
Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or a neutral oil of your choice for deep frying)
Put the flour, salt and caster sugar (and any spices if using) in a medium bowl and whisk in the water and wild yeast culture. Leave the batter at room temperature for a couple of hours to ferment.
Heat 2-3cm of oil in a suitable pan for deep frying, over a medium heat, until it reaches 190C (to test: dribble a little batter in and it should sizzle). Dip a few of the apple rings into the batter ensuring even coverage. Lift the rings out one-by-one and let each one drain briefly to remove any excess batter before carefully drooping each into the hot oil. It is important not to overcrowd the pan, so cook a few at a time in batches. Fry the apple rings until they turn golden brown. You will need to turn each apple ring a few times during cooking. Drain the cooked fritters on kitchen paper and keep them warm in the oven whilst frying off the remaining apple rings.
Serve warm, ideally with ice cream.