I have no idea why this recipe appealed to me but I happened to have bananas and the other necessary supplies so it was easy to make Mrs. E. F. Seagram’s recipe for Fruit Fritters from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
This is a very quick dessert and it doesn’t make a huge amount like some of the other doughnut and fritter recipes. I still made just half the recipe since I didn’t have any extra tasters around today. I added 1 egg, 1 tablespoon milk, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and a tiny amount of sat. I let the batter sit while I started melting lard in a pot and cutting up a banana. I wasn’t sure how much banana was needed but started with one. I roughly chopped the banana and stirred it into the mixture. It seemed to be the right amount for the batter. I took my usual precautions when working with hot fat and then dropped in tablespoons of batter. I’d hoped that the fritters would turn over themselves when ready on one side but I had to turn them. There is some leeway in just how brown and crisp you make the fritter. I found that both the golden and the brown fritters were equally cooked. Once ready I removed each fritter to a plate to drain and then sprinkled with sugar. I didn’t have any icing sugar but that would work too.
Edward Frowde Seagram and Edna I MacLaughlin married and had four children. When the Berlin Cook Book was published Edna had two small children, was pregnant with her third child. E. F. Seagram was a book-keeper and later a manufacturer. He is one of the sons in the famous Waterloo distilling company Joseph E. Seagram and Sons. In 1907 the company began producing Seagrams V.O. whisky. By the 1911 census Edna was living the life of a well off woman with her husband, children, two domestic servants and a governess in their home on King Street in Waterloo.
I imagine Mrs. Seagram making these (or requesting them from a servant) for the children. Lucky children! These are so good! The banana works very well and the batter isn’t too sweet. I think I was inspired to make them today since I missed my usual Saturday visit to the Kitchener Farmers Market where I often sample the apple fritters. Instead I was dealing with a surprise visit by a carpenter who arrived to work on my house. These banana fritters more than make up for the loss of apple fritters. This year when apples could be in short supply I highly recommend this substitution — and I’m not even a banana fan. I might just have to make the other half of the recipe and I can’t wait to try it with the suggested pineapple, orange and apple versions. I used firm bananas but it might work with soft ones too. They would likely blend into the batter.
2 eggs, 2 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, dash of salt, use either pineapple, banana, oranges or apples. Cook in hot lard to a nice brown. Serve very hot and sprinkle with pulverized sugar.