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06 May 2012

Fritelle di Mele (Apple Fritters)

There's always a period for everything and I am a long way off with these treats.  I had been wanting to make some frittele di mele (apple fritters) for a long time but I just kept on passing it up for other things.  They usually appear in winter, most especially in the northern region of Italy, Alto Aldige, the apple region of the country.  Then there's a more specific period.  During the Carnevale (Carnival or Mardi Gras).  Now, can you see how far off I am from its period?  Let's just pretend it's February.

But it's a snack for the kids (and adults) so I don't follow any calendar and hey, there's no age limit either.  My husband and I eat these more than the kids. If you smell these goodies while cooking, it's an open invitation to everyone within a kilometer.  The sweet sugary scent with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon just makes anyone knock on the door.  

When I am off-season with what I am cooking or eating, an episode in my life crosses my memory.  

I was finishing a modest plate of spring salad in an outdoor bar/gastronomia at the center of Rome when I had a sudden craving for a cup of hot chocolate.  The more I waited for the waiter, the more I was convinced that I wanted it.  So when the waiter finally arrived and asked what else we wanted, I immediately declared my hot chocolate order.

The waiter gave me a full 5-second stare and seriously told me that after the healthy spring salad I had, I can't possibly want a cup of hot chocolate!  Uhhmmm, I understand it wasn't winter anymore but.....  The idea died in my mouth.  True to his word, the waiter really didn't give me my hot chocolate. 

These fritellle are best enjoyed as soon as they are cooked but give some time for the apples to cool a bit before biting because they can burn. I am not into deep frying so much but these apples are a pleasure to cook  because of the sweet smell that permeates the house.   It reminds me of being in an amusement park. 

This is a fairly easy snack that everyone will definitely enjoy. This batch I cooked extended its way to my husband's and my early dinner after the kids went away and played.  Alone time.  It was like an imaginary date in an amusement park.

Buona Domenica!  Have a good Sunday! 

Fritelle di Mele (Apple Fritters)

Serves 4
  • 3 Golden or Renette apples (I used Golden.)
  • 150 grams flour
  • 200 ml. milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 20 grams sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder or liquid
  • sugar for sprinkling and coating apples
  • cinnamon powder (optional)
  • oil for deep frying (I used peanut oil.)
  1. In a bowl, whisk egg yolks, milk, salt, vanilla and sifted flour.  Whisk until the batter becomes smooth and dense.  Cover and let it rest for half an hour.
  2. In another bowl, whisk egg whites and 20 g. sugar until stiff.
  3. Add egg white mixture to the egg yolk mixture using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. 
  4. Meanwhile, peel and core apples.  Slice apples.  Coat both sides of apple slices with sugar.  
  5. Prepare a saucepan with abundant oil for deep frying.  
  6. When the oil is hot, (ideal temperature is between 170 - 180 degrees Celcius), dip apples in the batter one by one and drop them in the oil.  One way to check if the oil is hot enough is to dip a wooden skewer in the middle of the oil.  If tiny bubbles come out along the stick, then it's ready.  Don't overcrowd them in the saucepan and make sure they don't stick to each other.  Brown both sides.
  7. Transfer them to a plate covered with kitchen paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  8. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon powder.  Serve hot.