Occasionally when I go to the Kitchener Market or the St. Jacob’s Market, I’ll indulge in an apple fritter. Tonight I decided to try Mrs. Louisa Guenzler’s Apple Fritters recipe in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book on page 218. I like the idea of a treat that stands the test of time. It is nice to think of someone in the brand new city of Berlin in 1912 enjoying an apple fritter just as I do in Kitchener in 2012.
The 1901 census has a Louisa A. Guenzler age 11. I suppose she could have submitted the recipe at age 16 but she’s not a Mrs. In 1906 a married woman would take her husband’s name — this Louisa wouldn’t be a Guenzler anymore. Perhaps then the woman submitting the recipe is married to a male Guenzler. However, in the 1901 census all the male Guenzlers are little boys or are married to women with names other than Louisa. The 1911 census has just one family named Guenzler and no Louisa. I’m going to assume that this delicious recipe was submitted by teenage Miss Louisa A Guenzler.
To ensure I didn’t eat too many apple fritters I made half the recipe and used one Northern Spy apple. I think if I made the complete recipe I would probably use three
apples to better balance batter and apples. I peeled the apples and chopped them into chunks which worked well in this recipe.
The recipe is quite simple to make but it is the deep-frying that scared me. I have some experience making doughnuts in historic settings and learned to be very very careful with hot fat. I have a pot lid, baking soda, and a fire extinguisher within easy reach. I was also prepared to soak my hand in cold water if I spatter any on myself. I used a small saucepan and slowly melted lard until there was about three inches of liquid fat in the pan (just enough to cover the fritter). I carefully dripped a little batter into the lard to test if it was ready. I was careful not to get the lard too hot or too cool. I placed three small spoonfuls of fritter batter into the hot lard. It is a good sign if the
dough sinks to the bottom and then quickly rises back to the top. The fritter should also turn over itself if there is plenty of room in the pan. I carefully removed one fritter when it was medium brown and cut into it. It was a little doughy so I left the other two just a little longer in the fat. I drained them and then poured some maple syrup over them as suggested in the recipe. Wow! The fritters were very good. The chopped apples were still a little crisp but certainly cooked. The half recipe made nine apple fritters. This is another recipe I’ll keep on hand as it is quick and delicious . . . and I’ll pretend the apples make it healthy.
Make a batter with 1 cup sweet milk, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 eggs, whites and yolks beaten separately, 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, mixed with flour, chop some good tart apples, mix in the batter and fry in hot lard. Serve with maple syrup.