Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Yeasted Apple Fritters

As newlyweds, our first home was an L-shaped apartment in the basement of six flat on the south side of Chicago. Papa and Mama S. owned the building. They were German Jews who immigrated to this country in 1939. They came into our lives during a period of wrenching dislocation in the South Shore and Hyde Park neighborhoods of Chicago. Whole blocks of apartments emptied as white-flight from the city accelerated. The building on Paxton Avenue was Papa's Alamo. Having been forced from one home, he refused to leave this one on any terms other than his own. The price he paid was loneliness. Most of his friends had gone. To break the monotony, he'd shuffle down the stairs to meet me when I returned from school in the afternoon. We'd gossip over coffee and snack on something sweet, usually donuts or fritters as I couldn't bankroll much more than that. I wish I could make these fritters for him; he'd love them warm, coated with cinnamon sugar and dunked into a cup of his strong, very sweet - "four sugar, please" - coffee; I'd love to see him smile again.

Apple Fritters

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup finely diced apples
Oil for deep frying
Topping: cinnamon sugar, confectioners' sugar

1) Pour warm water into a medium bowl. Stir in yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes to soften.
2) Stir in egg, sugar, oil, vanilla and salt. Stir in flour. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
3) Punch dough down and mix in apples.
4) Heat oil to 375 degrees F. Use a soup or table-serving spoon to drop batter, four spoonfuls per batch, into oil. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper toweling. Roll in cinnamon sugar, then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Serve warm. Yield: 12 fritters.


Prudy said...

What a sweet memory! It's always so fun to share food with others. Fritters are a great newleywed treat, nice and cheap. I'd love to make these this Fall.

Martha said...

What a sweet story and what a great recipe. Food memories are some of the best!


Anonymous said...

I love your little stories. My earliest memories of fritters are of when I was a little girl and we went to Disneyland. In the New Orleans Square, they sold these cinnamon sugary fritters there and we ALWAYS got some. They were so good.

Anonymous said...

Oh I love fritters. The fair is in town this week and I do love the elephant ears, but this recipe may keep me at home! It sounds so much better.

Allie said...

Such a sweet story those are the best food memories to have.

Jenny said...

Wow Mary, these fritters are calling my name. Love good memories!

Tastes of Home said...

what a warm and lovely story, these apple fritters look soo good, I can't wait to try them. Food can always invoke such strong memories..

Maria said...

I love the stories you tie in with your recipes. My dad would love this one!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

What a nice story. These look soo good. I could go for one right now with a cup of tea.

Karen said...

I love stories like this. Nice memory and the fritters look great!

jules ds journey said...

I'm right there with you, Mary. For me, too, fall is the time of renewal.the smell of cinnamon and coffee can bring me to my knees also. Thanks for taking me there again.

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