Finger Lakes Apple Fritters
With a mix of spices and booze, these aren’t your grandma’s apple fritters. But Granny would definitely approve.
1 quart fresh, unpasteurized apple cider
6 whole star anise
1 cardamom pod
1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
1 cup Finger Lakes Distilling Brandy or Rye
3 medium apples, tasty & tart (like Granny Smith)
3 cups Birkett Mills Graham Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
Lard, for frying
Combine apple cider, star anise, cardamom, and peppercorns in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and bring to a slow simmer. Reduce by 75 percent.
Mix your booze and cider reduction. Peel apples and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Soak in the mixture for a minimum of 30 minutes, or overnight.
Heat lard to 350˚ in a fryer or heavy pan at least 3 inches deep. Drain the apples and reserve the liquid. Whisk together the flour, all but one tablespoon of the sugar, and the baking soda. Whisk greek yogurt, soaking liquid, and egg yolks. Zest and juice lemon into wet mix. Whisk wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined: don’t over-mix. Whip the egg whites with the remaining tablespoon of sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in drained apples followed by egg whites until just incorporated.
Test a spoonful of batter by using a scoop to carefully drop it into the hot lard. Cook until evenly brown, turning with a slotted spoon 2 or 3 times. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on towels until cool enough to tear apart with your fingers.
Dust with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or nothing at all. Pour remaining soaking liquid over ice in a rocks glass. Eat fritters. Drink marinade. Be merry.
Recipe by Christopher Bates, FLX Table.