Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Melissa Makes Apple Fritters

Melissa is my personal pastry chef, or at least that's what I've teasingly called her for a long time. She loves to bake, and she always chooses to make something delicious. Last night, she was busy in the kitchen again, this time making Nancy Silverton's apple fritter recipe. As I moved around the house, cleaning messes and taking care of a few tasks that needed doing, I couldn't help but smile at the cheerful scene in the kitchen. Melissa had tied an apron around herself, put on a Frank Sinatra CD, and was busy mixing dough and chopping apples.

The dough was a tasty, eggy (quite yellow, like brioche) yeast dough, so there were a few dough-resting and dough-rising steps involved in making the fritters. When Melissa sauteed the apples in butter and vanilla bean, the house smelled heavenly. But the best moment was when the fritters were fried and brushed with glaze and ready to eat. Yum!

Some people have referred to Nancy Silverton as the best pastry chef in America. I am certainly no judge of that, but I do know that everything we've made from her pastry cookbook has been delicious! And the apple fritters were no exception.

Here is Silverton's description of her apple fritters, taken from her book, Pastries from the La Brea Bakery:

"Most recipes for apple fritters call for apple slices dipped in batter and fried. When I think of an apple fritter, I think of chopped apples encased in crispy, light dough. Unfortunately,the doughnut shop version is always oversized and grease-laden. Fortunately, this fritter is delicate, packed with tart, plump pieces of sauteed apples and won't leave you stuffed and full of regrets."

And that would have been true had I eaten just one fritter! But no. So, I was left both stuffed and full of regrets (but not too much on the regrets).