I spent this afternoon doing some baking to be auctioned off for a special fundraising event tonight and I did a little of my own Christmas baking so it was tough to think about making something from the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. I finally settled on Apple Fritters since I didn’t make it to the market this morning. Besides there is snow on the ground and I’ve just come home from a walk in the brisk wintry air after eating all sorts of things at the Time and Talent Auction. The recipe is in a section called Fruits in Various Ways that doesn’t include the names of any recipe contributors.
I mixed up the batter as described in the recipe below. I like nutmeg so I grated about half a nutmeg into the batter. I peeled, cored, and chopped one and a half Spy apples. Spy is a good cooking apple that is a bit sour and stays firm when heated. While I prepared the apples I started heating the lard and took my usual precautions. The recipe says the batter should be “middling stiff” but mine seemed too thin so I added another cup of flour. Once the fat was hot I used a tablespoon to drop in the apple fritter batter. The fritters don’t become as brown as I expected and the fat needed to be hotter than usual. I drained the fritters in a colander and then sprinkled them with icing sugar before sampling.
The fritters are quick to prepare and cook. They don’t have any sugar so the apple flavour comes through and provides the only sweetness. The batter puffs up and remains soft rather than becoming crisp. Surprisingly the apple fritters taste good cold. Most of the doughnuts I’ve made are much better warm. The coating tastes a bit eggy for me but I think most people would like it. My choice of Spy apples seems to work well with this recipe. Adjust the amount of nutmeg for your taste or, as a modern cook, you could use cinnamon instead. I didn’t expect to like these fritters but overall they are good and think I’ll make them for my extended family over Christmas. Although this isn’t a recipe for “modern” apple fritters they seem to have time travelled quite well.
One teacup of sifted flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, pinch of salt, 3 eggs, 1 teacup of milk. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together, add the eggs, well beaten, and the milk, 1/2 pint of chopped apples, and a little grated nutmeg. Mix into a middling stiff batter, drop from a spoon into piping hot lard and fry a delicate brown. As soon as the fritters are dipped out they should be laid away in a collandar [sic] to cool and dry off and then dusted with powdered sugar.