Many home cooks shy away from deep frying both because it is a little intimidating and because it can be messy. Neither need be the case. The key to deep frying is making sure that the oil is always in what I call the “magic range” of 350 to 375°F. This requires that you get yourself a deep fry thermometer—one that clips right on the side of the pot so that you can easily monitor temperature. Don’t drop anything in until the temperature is in the magic range; stop adding ingredients when it falls to 350°F. It’s when you let the temperature drop that oil is absorbed and the food gets leaden and heavy. And above 375°F., the oil is too hot and the food browns or burns before it is cooked through. Foods fried in the magic range, whether sweet or savory, come out crisp, light, and not greasy. As to the mess factor, you don’t need all that much oil to deep fry most things. About an inch of oil in a big pot minimizes splatter and makes cleanup easy. Discard the oil after using it.
You can also serve these fritters alone or with any of the dessert sauces above. All of the sauces can be made a long time ahead. The fritters, however, need to be deep fried right at serving time.
PLACE THE BUTTER in a saucepan with
To serve, place a shallow pool of warm sauce in individual serving bowls. Place 3 or 4 fritters on top. Scatter on sliced berries and dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.
If you like with powdered sugar
© 2004 John Ash. All rights reserved.