English Puddings: Sweet and Savouryby Mary Norwak
Fritters have always been a popular dish, with their combination of crisp crunchy exterior and tasty interior. Hannah Glasse in the mid-eighteenth century gave recipes for vegetable and apple fritters similar to those we eat today, although the batter for fruit fritters included large quantities of cream, wine, eggs and ale, which provided a raising ingredient. In addition, there were fritters made with curds (similar to today's drop scones, which can be made with cottage cheese), ground rice fritters, fritters containing sage leaves or vine leaves, hasty fritters, and syringed fritters, which were piped into the hot fat in the shape of true lovers' knots. Most of us now think of fritters as containing fruit. Apples, bananas, apricots, peaches and pineapple rings make good fillings, but they must be as dry as possible when dipped into the batter, or the coating will be too thin. The food should be completely covered in batter, and cooked in hot fat or oil until crisp and golden. Fritters should be thoroughly drained on crumpled absorbent paper and then served at once. A sprinkling of spiced sugar is an excellent finish, or they may be served with cream, warm syrup, or Jam Sauce.
The amount of batter given here is enough to coat 1 lb (450 g) canned pineapple rings or 3 bananas cut in chunks, or 1 lb (450 g) apples cut in 1/2 in (1.25 cm) rings, or 1 lb (450 g) canned peach halves.
• 4 oz (100 g) plain or self-raising flour
• Pinch of salt
• 2 eggs
• 2 tablespoons milk
• Deep fat for frying
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the eggs and milk, and beat with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth.
Dip in fruit to coat completely with batter. Fry in deep fat or oil until crisp and golden.
Drain well and serve at once.
Drain pineapple rings. Add 2 tablespoons pineapple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind to the batter.
Cut into 2 in (5 cm) chunks. Add 2 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon icing sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice to the batter.
Peel and core apples and cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick rings. Prepare batter as for bananas, but substitute cinnamon for mixed spice.
Drain peach halves. Add 1 tablespoon milk, 1 tablespoon sherry and 2-3 drops almond essence to the batter.