Peach Fritters

Peach Fritters

We’ve been travelling through the Canadian Maritime provinces this summer and were expecting to miss much of the local peach season. Southern Ontario produces a pretty respectable peach crop in August, but we weren’t sure how much of it would make it out our way. Sure enough, around the second week of August, Ontario peaches started to hit the markets. A few days on the counter to help them ripen and we were in peach heaven! Over the following few weeks we made our way through basket after basket, making everything from peach salads to peach jam (local raspberries were in season, so we made a lovely peach-raspberry jam). One of our favorites was these peach fritters. They are loaded with fresh peach flavor and a nice yellow color. To finish them off, we tossed them in a Cinnamon-Cardamom sugar. The combination is fantastic. By the way, even if you don’t give these a try, make the spiced sugar. It is really great in coffee, especially a roast that brings out some chocolate undertones.

Peach Fritters

Peach Fritters

A few notes about deep frying safely. If you have a countertop deep fryer, simply follow your manufacturer’s instructions. As we’re living in our campervan, we used the oil-in-a-pot method. In fact, we used a little 1.5 qt saucepot and cooked about 4 of these fritters at a time. It worked out great. To be safe, never fill your frying pot more than 1/3 full with oil. That means the pot is mostly empty. This is so when you add the fritters to the oil, between displacement and bubbling, it won’t come anywhere near overflowing. That’s when a fire can happen, and oil fires are very dangerous. Use a candy/deep fry thermometer that is clipped to the side of the pot for the most accurate temperature readings. Try not to let the oil get too hot, anything over 400F/200C is at very high risk for igniting. If you find the temperature is getting too hot, turn down the heat, or even turn the heat off. Oil will maintain its temperature for a while, so you can turn the heat back on when it’s back down to where you want it to be. I have lots of experience with using a pot to deep fry and I will never fry without a thermometer.

Peach Fritters
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Fluffy and bursting with fresh summer peaches, these easy to put together fritters tossed in a homemade Cinnamon-Cardamom sugar make for a wonderful dessert.
Author:
Serves: about 16
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup grated peaches with their juice (grate the peaches on the large holes of a box grater held over a bowl), about 2 small to medium peaches
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 ½ cup peeled and diced peaches, around 2 small to medium peaches diced into ¼ –inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus more for frying
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon-Cardamom Sugar
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
Instructions
  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a mixing bowl
  2. Combine the grated peaches with their juices and the non-dairy milk, you should have ¾ cup. Add more non-dairy milk if you’re a little short. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of oil and the vanilla extract
  3. Stir the ground peach mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined. It can be a little lumpy.
  4. Stir in the diced peaches until well distributed.
  5. Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the flour to hydrate fully, and for the gluten formed from mixing to relax. This will yield a more tender fritter.
  6. Make the Cinnamon-Cardamom sugar by combining the three ingredients together in a bowl.
  7. When the batter has rested, proceed to cooking them based on the method you intend to use.
  8. Countertop Fryer: Heat your countertop fryer to 350F following the manufactures instructions. I find it easier to make these without using the baskets as they are likely to stick to them. With a tablespoon, give the batter a quick stir to ensure everything is incorporated, then scoop a small tablespoon-sized ball of batter out of the bowl. Hold the spoon near the surface of the oil (1/2-inch away). With another spoon, push the batter from the spoon, letting it slide off into the oil. Repeat the process until you have several in the fryer. Try to work quickly so they will cook at about the same time. The number you put in there really depends on the size of the fryer, but a good rule of thumb is to not add more than you can without having them touch as you drop them in. For a typical home fryer, I would stop at eight. Using a slotted spoon, move them around in the oil so they don’t stick together and so that they will brown evenly on all sides. They will take around three minutes to cook through, but the colour will be a good guide. They should be a deep, warm golden brown when finished. Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the oil, giving them a few seconds to drip away excess oil. Toss them right away into the bowl of cinnamon-cardamom sugar, then remove to a tray or wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter until all of it is cooked.
  9. Oil-in-a-pot: Clip a deep-fry/candy thermometer to the side of the pot and fill it no more than ⅓-full with vegetable oil. Heat the oil over medium heat until it reaches 350F. With a tablespoon, give the batter a quick stir to ensure everything is incorporated, and then scoop a small tablespoon-sized ball of batter out of the bowl. Hold the spoon near the surface of the oil (1/2-inch away). With another tablespoon, push the batter from the spoon, letting it slide off into the oil. Repeat the process until you have several in the fryer. Try to work quickly so they will cook at about the same time. The number you put in there really depends on the size of the pot and amount of oil, but a good rule of thumb is to not add more than you can without having them touch as you drop them in. For the small pot I was using, I had to stop at four. If you are watching your thermometer, you will see the temperature drop pretty quickly. Usually, I will turn the temperature up at this point to bring it back to 350F as quickly as possible, then lower the heat (or even turn it off if I’m using an electric element) so that the oil doesn’t get too hot. This is called temperature recovery, and you want it to recover as quickly as it can. Why? The lower the temperature, the more oil is likely to be absorbed by the fritter, making them unnecessarily greasy. There is some flexibility here, so don’t panic if your oil goes a little over or under the 350F mark. Definitely remove it from the heat if the oil temperature reaches 375F. They should still cook up nicely, but there is a risk that they will brown up before the batter is fully cooked. Using a slotted spoon, move them around in the oil so they don’t stick together and so that they will brown evenly on all sides. They will take around three minutes to cook through, but the colour will be a good guide. They should be a deep, warm golden brown when finished. Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the oil, giving them a few seconds drip away excess oil. Toss them right away into the bowl of cinnamon-cardamom sugar, then remove to a tray or wire rack to cool. Don’t wait too long before adding the next round of batter to the fryer because with the fritters out of the oil there is nothing to stop it from continuing to heat. When all of the fritters are cooked, carefully remove the pot from the heat source and let it cool. Depending on how much oil you used, this could take an hour or more. During that time the oil is still dangerously hot and should be out of the way so accidents can’t happen.
 

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