Archive for the 'snacks' Category

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 »

Russian Ponchiki Doughnuts

Ponchiki Collage Russian Ponchiki Doughnuts

Q: What do you get when you cross a Russian doughnut with a Timbit? A: Ponchiki!

Russian Doughnuts 7 Russian Ponchiki Doughnuts

I had never heard of these dense, cheesy fritters before yesterday, but they seemed appropriately Russian-Canadian-snackable to serve up while planted on the couch glued to hockey or snowboarding or luge. We’ve already started to call them Those Little Russian Doughnuts.

Russian Doughnuts 6 Russian Ponchiki Doughnuts

They’re made with farmers’ cheese, a dry, crumbly cheese that looks like ricotta would had it been pressed a little more. Ricotta would work just as well – I added some sour cream to the farmers’ cheese to moisten it a bit. Some recipes I came across called for raisins in the dough – I used currants, which are more easily dispersed and seem like an ingredient my grandmother would have used. Not that she was Russian – they went into her butter tarts. But someone’s Russian grandma must have used them. Perhaps when I’m a grandma I’ll make Russian ponchiki. And Ukranian peroghy and Belgian beef carbonnade, and Danish Æbleskiver.

Russian Doughnuts 5 Russian Ponchiki Doughnuts

The dough is dense and cheesy – I had more than a cup of farmers’ cheese left, and so went ahead and used it – most recipes called for the spoonfuls of relatively wet batter to be rolled in flour before being lowered into the the hot oil, but mine wasn’t sticky enough to need it – it could be rolled into neat balls by hand without making much mess. Either way.

Russian Doughnuts 4 Russian Ponchiki Doughnuts

Once nicely deep golden, set them on a double thickness of paper towel and douse in icing sugar.

Get yourself a fresh cuppa coffee and eat warm.

Russian Ponchiki Doughnuts

1 cup farmers’ cheese or ricotta
2-3 Tbsp. sour cream (if the cheese is very dry)
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup raisins or currants (optional)

extra flour, for rolling
canola or other mild vegetable oil, for cooking
icing sugar or cinnamon sugar, for dusting

In a medium bowl, stir together the cheese, sour cream, sugar and egg. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until you have a thick batter. If you like, stir in some raisins or currants.

Put some flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Scoop medium spoonfuls of batter and roll in flour to coat. Heat a couple inches of oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking – a crust of bread should sizzle if you dip it in. Gently lower a few ponchiki at a time into the oil – don’t crowd the pot – and cook until golden on the bottom. Flip and cook for a few minutes on the other side, until deep golden. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.

Dust with icing sugar or cinnamon sugar while still warm. Makes lots.

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February 11 2014 | dessert and snacks | 9 Comments »

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