This is a specialty of Hanukah. Of several fritters that I have tried, this one is the most scrumptious, because the apples are macerated in brandy, which gives them a most wonderful flavor, and the batter is very light.
Core and peel the apples and cut each into 4 thick slices. [See how to peel and core on streaming video.] Put them in a shallow dish with the sugar and brandy, rum, or liqueur, and turn them so that they are well coated. Leave for at least 1 hour, turning the slices over occasionally, so that they absorb the spirit.
- 4 tart or sweet apples
- 2-3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons brandy, dark rum, or fruit liqueur
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons light vegetable oil
- a good pinch of salt
- 1 cup (150 g) flour
- 7/8 cup (200 ml) water
- vegetable oil for frying, preferably sunflower
- superfine sugar for sprinkling on after serving
For the batter, beat the yolks with the oil and salt, then stir in the flour and mix well. Now beat in the water gradually and vigorously, squashing any lumps. Leave for an hour, then fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.
Heat at least 3/4 inch (2 cm) of oil in a large frying pan. Dip the apple slices in the batter — about 5 at a time — making sure that they are well covered with batter. Lift each one out carefully and lower into the hot oil. The oil must be sizzling but not too hot or the fritters will brown before the apple is soft inside. Fry in batches, and turn the slices over to brown both sides. Lift out with a slotted spatula and drain on kitchen paper before serving. Pass the superfine sugar for everyone to sprinkle on.
You may use beer or milk instead of water for the batter.
Pass powdered cinnamon and sugar around for people to sprinkle on.
Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 30 min
Stir together potatoes, scallions, flour, eggs, salt, and pepper.
- 1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
Heat oil in a deep 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4, spoon 1/8 cup potato mixture per latke into oil and flatten to 3-inch diameter with a slotted spatula. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Transfer latkes with spatula to paper towels to drain.
Makes about 26 pancakes.
BRAISED CHICKEN WITH CILANTRO, LEMON AND DRIED FIGS
Remove the skin and fat from a whole cut-up chicken to make this Middle Eastern dish.
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 3 1/2- to 3 3/4-pound chicken, skin and fat removed, cut into 12 pieces
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 8 dried Calimyrna figs, stems trimmed, cut in half lengthwise
- Lemon wedges
Place flour in large resealable plastic bag. Season flour with salt and pepper. Add chicken to bag; seal bag. Shake bag to coat chicken lightly with flour.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken and sauté until brown on all sides, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer chicken to plate. Add remaining
2 teaspoons oil to pot and reduce heat to medium. Add onions and garlic and sauté until golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in broth, 1/2 cup cilantro and lemon juice and bring to boil. Add figs and chicken with any accumulated juices to pot. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender, about 35 minutes.
Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken to bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Boil juices in pot until thickened to sauce consistency, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro over and serve with lemon wedges.
PEAR AND ALMOND FRANGIPANE WITH APRICOT SAUCE
Combine water, 2 1/2 cups sugar, lemon juice and vanilla in large pot. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Add pears. Bring liquid to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until pears are just tender, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool pears in poaching liquid.
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 4 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 Anjou pears, peeled, halved, cored
- 1 18-ounce jar apricot preserves
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 2 cups almonds, toasted
- 6 large eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
Stir preserves in small saucepan until melted. Add rum. (Pears and sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 10- to 11-inch-diameter quiche dish with about 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Grind nuts in processor. Add 1 3/4 cups sugar, eggs and almond extract. Process until well blended. Pour into dish. Drain pears; arrange atop batter, cut side down and stem end toward center. Bake until tester inserted into cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on rack. Rewarm apricot sauce over medium-low heat. Serve cake with sauce.
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