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apple fritter
Frittelle di Mela (Apple Fritters, fried yeast dough)
Originated from: Northern Italy
Occasion: After the apple harvest
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

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4 apples
1 1/2 cups flour*
1 packet of quick-rise yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup warm water*

Vegetable oil for deep frying
Extra sugar for dusting

*Measurement is approximate


Follow packet directions for yeast.

Mix flour, sugar and salt together.

Add activated yeast and warm water to flour mixture.

Beat egg yolks.

Add beaten egg yolks to flour mixture.

Mix until you have a smooth batter. If the batter is too thin, add a touch more flour; if it's too thick, add a touch more water.

Put aside batter and let it rest for about twenty minutes (at room temperature).

Meanwhile, peel, core and cut apples into 1/2 inch rings.

Dip apple rings into "rested" batter.

Fry the apple rings until golden.


Sprinkle the apple fritters with sugar before serving.


I suspect this apple fritter recipe comes closer to the way apple fritters were made prior to World War II. Firstly, this recipe uses a lot less sugar than most other apple fritter recipes and secondly, this recipe uses yeast. Prior to World War II both sugar and baking powder were expensive, so most people avoided using them. Most country people used yeast rather than baking powder, mainly because they made their own yeast, so it was real cheap. According to what I was told by my aunt, yeast was made by placing a slice of bread in a bit of olive oil. The bread would eventually get moldy (It took about a week to two depending on the temperature), and then this "moldy bread" would be used as yeast (How moldy bread transforms into yeast is beyond me, but apparently it worked). So, recipes that contain yeast are probably more authentic, though not necessarily better tasting than those made with baking powder. I found this particular recipe rather insipid.

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