Apple or Peach Fritters

Apple fritters 6 Apple or Peach Fritters

The apples are coming. The peaches are here.

I know it’s early – someone said August is like the Sunday afternoon of summer – but bins of apples are arriving in farmers’ markets alongside late summer peaches – and both make me want to eat fritters. This colossal Sundaynightitis and the mere suggestion of shorter days and cooler nights triggers my need for comfort food something fierce.

Apple fritters 2 Apple or Peach Fritters

These photos should be out in an orchard, on a rustic wood board with apples that still have their stems – and maybe an ever so slightly curled leaf – for optimal effect. But it’s one of the last of the vintage dinette tabletops – the pink and blue so many art directors I know shudder to see peeking out from under my food – and at the bottom, a scrap of the material that’s now on our ceilings. And I’m getting all sniffy at the thought that the table might not be going back – I’m thinking a big slab of butcher block will warm up the room and be nice to shoot on.

Sniff.

Apple fritters 1 Apple or Peach Fritters

All good Canadians are familiar with the apple fritter – one of the most popular doughnuts at our biggest doughnut chain – but if you haven’t tried a peach fritter, you must. Just make sure you let them cool a bit – juicy peaches tend to retain their heat longer than apples.

Apple or Peach Fritters

If you’re feeding a crowd, this recipe can be easily doubled.

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup apple cider or milk
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. melted butter or oil
1 tart apple or ripe peach, finely chopped (don’t peel it)

canola or peanut oil, for frying
icing sugar or cinnamon sugar, for dusting

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the cider or milk, egg and melted butter and whisk just until combined. Stir in the chopped apple or peach.

In a heavy medium saucepan, heat a couple inches of oil over medium-high heat. When a scrap of bread sizzles when you dip it in, drop a few small spoonfuls of batter at a time into the oil, without crowding the pan. Flip as they turn golden, and continue to cook until golden on the other side. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Douse in cinnamon sugar or icing sugar while still warm. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

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August 26 2014 | breakfast and snacks | 2 Comments »

Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

cucumber gin sorbet 1 Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

Apparently not having a kitchen is not keeping me from making stuff.

We were clearing out the fridge to move it, and I became obsessed with the use of three quarters of an English cucumber. We couldn’t just eat it – I had to transform it. I almost made fattoush, which would have utilized a couple pitas in the freezer (extra points! It’s like the culinary version of Scrabble) but the gin won. And besides, I needed to get that ice cream machine insert out of the freezer too – those things take up some serious real estate.

cucumber gin sorbet 2 Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

W was not pleased when he heard the machine going and learned I was making cucumber ice cream.

It’s the easiest sorbet ever – chop a cuke into your food processor, add mint, gin, and a simple syrup made my warming sugar and water – which you can totally do in the microwave. It deserves a good gin, like Hendrick’s – something smooth and herbal. Puree + freeze for a refreshing patio sorbet that’s also perfect for scooping into a glass of prosecco or tonic.

Cucumber, Mint and Gin Sorbet

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 large English cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
small handful fresh mint
2-4 Tbsp. (1-2 shots) good gin

In a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, heat the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Pour into a glass or other container (to speed up the cooling process) and put into the fridge until it’s cooled down.

Put the cucumber, mint and gin in the bowl of a food processor. Add the simple syrup and pulse until as well blended as you can get it. Scrape into the bowl of an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. (Alternatively, pour into a large loaf pan and freeze, stirring every hour or so until it’s frozen.)

Makes about 1 L.

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August 20 2014 | dessert and freezable | 9 Comments »

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