Sep 20, 2012

Fritter Away

 Even though Chanukah is the time for frying it has long been the custom of many families, ours included, to serve fritlach on Sukkos. Fritlach are deep fried pieces of dough, dusted with confectioners’ sugar and served for Kiddush or dessert. Every family has their own version, from batter-like drops spooned into hot oil to dough rolled thin and cut into interesting shapes. Most fritlach taste best fresh but some will last overnight in an airtight container.

3 eggs
 5 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons white wine
4 tablespoons oil
2 ¾ cups flour
4 cups canola oil for frying

Mix the eggs, sugar, salt, wine and oil until well combined. Add flour to form a smooth, not sticky dough, adding more flour if needed.
Divide dough into two parts. Roll each section out as thin as possible. Using a pastry wheel or pizza cutter cut dough into 1” strips. Then cut each strip into 4” pieces; cut a slit in the center of each strip and fit one end of the strip through, creating a twist.
Heat oil in a large pot to 350 degrees F or until a tiny bit of dough dropped into the oil sizzles and immediately floats to the top.
 Drop 4-5 pieces into the oil and fry until golden brown, turning once to cook both sides evenly.  Remove from oil and allow the oil to return to the correct temperature before placing the next pieces.
Drain fritlach on a rack or paper towels, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

Csoroge are Hungarian deep fried fritters.

2 eggs
1 tablespoon whiskey or bourbon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup flour

Beat eggs with salt. Add whiskey, sugar and water. Stir in flour to form a soft dough. On a well floured surface, roll out dough as thin as possible. Cut dough in 1 1/2 inch strips across the width. Cut each strip into long diamond- shaped pieces by cutting diagonally every 2-3 inches. Cut a 1/2” slit in the center of each diamond. Carefully lift and stretch each diamond-shaped piece and pull one corner through the cut in the center, stretching the dough slightly. Place the twisted dough on a floured surface. 
Prepare a sheet pan lined with paper towels. In a 5-6 quart pot, heat 2 quarts of canola oil until it reaches 350 degrees on a deep fry thermometer. Drop 4-5 csoroge in the hot oil and fry until golden, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on the prepared pan.
Allow the oil to return to the proper temperature and continue frying until all the pieces are done. Serve warm or at room temperature dusted generously with confectioners’ sugar.

These are an elegant version that will take a bit more time to prepare. But we think they’re well worth the rave reviews you will undoubtedly get.

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed and for surface
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fruit liquor
2 tablespoon canola oil
2/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons honey

Canola oil (about 4 cups), for frying
6 cups honey
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted and chopped, optional

Place flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; whisk to combine. Make a well in center, and add eggs, fruit liquor, olive oil, orange juice, and 2 tablespoons honey. Lightly mix with a fork until dough is smooth and no longer sticky. (Add more flour if needed.)
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in an electric mixer until dough is smooth, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover dough with plastic, and let stand 30 to 60 minutes.
Divide dough into 8 pieces. Using a rolling pin, flatten 1 piece, rolling from the center outward, easing the pressure when the pin is close to the edge, until dough is as thin as possible. If you have a pasta machine this is very easily accomplished by running the dough through at a low setting.
With a fluted pastry cutting wheel, cut each sheet of dough into strips that are 20 inches long and 1 inch wide.
Heat canola oil in a medium saucepan until it registers 350 degrees F. Wrap end of 1 strip of dough around two fingers, pinching the end to create a flower-like spiral. Wrap tail around 3 fingers, then around 4 fingers. Pinch end against spiral. Gently drop spiral into hot oil, and cook, turning once, until golden brown and puffed, about 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat.
Transfer fritters to a serving dish, and pour remaining 6 cups honey generously over top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and almonds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This version adds bits of apple to the fritters for a sweet fruity treat.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons Sugar
2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2  eggs
3/4 cups plain soy milk or rice milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 whole Granny Smith apples, peeled & diced
Confectioners’ sugar
Canola oil for frying

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a fork; add soy or rice milk, oil, and vanilla.
Gently fold dry and wet ingredients together until just combined (do not over-mix.) Fold in apples. Add apples and stir together to make a very chunky batter.
Heat 3 cups of canola oil over medium heat to 350 degrees. Alternately, test oil by dropping a little drop of batter into the oil. If it sizzles immediately and rises to the top, the oil is ready; if it burns quickly, turn down the heat.
Using a small ice cream or cookie scoop, drop batter into the hot oil, six or eight at a time. Sometimes they'll flip over by themselves; sometimes you have to flip them. Cook fritters about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, but watch to be sure they o not get too brown.
Remove and drain on a paper towel. Dust very generously with powdered sugar and serve warm.

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