The idea for these free-form fritters began as funnel cakes paired with roasted peaches. Eventually, I decided to work the peaches right into the batter to create just the kind of rustic fried treat that makes me think of state fairs and summer block parties. The batter itself contains no sugar, with the juicy peaches and dusting of fritter sugar contributing all of the sweetness. Other firm fruits like nectarines, plums, pineapple, or even bananas can be substituted for peaches in this recipe, which means a whole range of fritter options for different seasons.
- Yield: 16 fritters
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1¼ cups peeled and diced peaches
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Fritter Sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Add the eggs and milk and mix well. Add the vanilla and butter, and mix until combined into a loose batter. Fold in the diced peaches by hand. Cover the batter and put it in the refrigerator to cool and rest for at least 20 minutes, and up to 1 day.
- Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer until the oil reaches 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with paper towels.
- Using a ¾-ounce (1¼ inches in diameter) ice cream scoop, drop balls of batter into the oil, taking care not to crowd the pot. (Note: dipping your ice cream scoop or spoon into the fryer oil from time to time helps ensure that the dough will pop neatly and easily into the fryer.) Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown all over. The balls tend to bob in the oil and rotate on their own, but it doesn’t hurt to nudge here and there so that they cook evenly on all sides. Drain on the paper- towel-lined baking sheet.
- Toss the hot fritters in fritter sugar, and serve them immediately.