Nothing says Fall more than something made with apples!
What Fall has meant to me all this year was that my daughter was getting married. The wedding was last weekend and it was the most beautiful, special weekend any mother could imagine. The bride and groom were so happy and the venue (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center) was wonderful. Lots of fall flowers and grasses still in bloom and looking gorgeous. But not nearly as gorgeous as my daughter walking down the isle to meet her future husband with family and friends there to celebrate. All the planning and decision making is over so I guess it’s time to get on to other things. I’m thinking about going back to culinary school and finishing what I started years ago. Or, enrolling in some camera classes at our local college. So until then, I guess I will start cooking a little more. I think my husband is ready for some good comfort food.
When I think of Fall I think of apple picking time and one of my kid’s field trips when we lived in Iowa and how we went to pick apples with a whole bus load of screaming kids. The crisp morning air was wonderful and the smell of apples just made you want to run all the way home and make an apple pie.
I love the signs of Fall like apple picking, pumpkins growing in the fields (another field trip) and the crunch of beautiful colored leaves below your feet, the maple trees starting to show some color on your long drives through the countryside or just that leafy autumn smell filling the air was enough to have me in my kitchen wanting to cook something comforting. And, I just love it when I actually need to grab a jacket before going out (normally doesn’t happen in Texas until maybe December, but it happened this morning).
This particular recipe came from a dinner group we belonged to while living in Iowa back in the late 70’s/80’s. We made some of the best friends while living there through church and Welcome Wagon. There wasn’t a lot to do in the winter there, so to get together with friends for a great meal and enjoy all the snow from inside in front of a crackling fire was just so comforting.
Normally a person thinks of fritters, they think of little dough puffs kind of like doughnuts or hushpuppies. This recipe uses cored and sliced apple rings for the fritters. They are dipped in a beer and rum batter and fried until golden and the Crème Anglaise is wonderful. I called this Vanilla Cream sauce for years before I realized it was really a Crème Anglaise. It’s still good, no matter what it is called.
Peeled, sliced and cored. I can’t believe I do not have an apple corer. I have one that cores and slices the apples into wedges but not one that just took out the core. So I used a small flower cutter to take out center.
The slices get tossed with the sugar, cinnamon and brandy.
The beaten egg whites and the left over marinade from the apples get folded into the batter.
Apple Fritters with Crème Anglaise
6 cooking apples
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. brandy or rum (I used brandy this time)
1 3/4 c. flour
2 egg yolks
3/4 c. milk
2/3 c. flat beer
2 Tbsp. melted butter
2 stiffly beaten egg whites
2 c. half and half or whole milk
5 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pare and core the apples. Cut into 1/4″ slices. Place slices in large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 c. sugar and cinnamon. Pour brandy or rum over apple slices. Put the bowl in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, to tossing slices gently with fork several times. Combine flour, salt, 2 egg yolks, 3/4 c. milk, beer and butter in bowl. Stir until smooth. Do not over beat. Let rest 1 hour.
While batter rest, prepare the Crème Anglaise.
Heat 2 cups milk to scalding in top of double boiler. Remove from heat. Beat 5 egg yolks and 1/2 c. sugar in bowl until thick and lemon colored about 1-4 minutes. Very slowly stir in the hot milk, one ladle at a time to avoid curdling. Return mixture to top of double boiler. Over hot (not boiling) water, stir constantly until custard coats the back of the spoon. Stir in the vanilla. Put a sieve over a bowl of ice and water and strain custard into the bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use. (Serve cold, room temperature or even warm.)
When ready to cook fritters, fold beaten egg whites into batter. Drain liquid from apples. Stir liquid into batter. Heat oil in heavy skillet to 375°. Dip apple slices 1 at a time into batter with fork or tongs. Let excess drip off. Fry fritters until brown on one side. Turn; brown second side. Remove from fat with fork or slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels. Arrange two to three fritters on each place, dust with powdered sugar. Drizzle crème anglaise over top.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.