These luscious fritters are based on a recipe from a delightful cookbook published by the Jewish community of Casale Monferrato, La Cucina della Memoria. A word-for-word recipe appears in the classic Italian-Jewish cookbook, La Cucina nella Tradizione Ebraica, where its origin is attributed to Central European Jews.
But for us, the fritters will always taste Italian.
Put the apple slices in a large resealable plastic bag and add the brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon (use the larger amount if you prefer a more pronounced cinnamon flavor, rather than a background note). Seal, then move the apples around in the bag until the seasonings are evenly distributed. Let the apples macerate at room temperature for about 1 hour.
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the oil until well blended. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and
Preheat the oven to 200°F if you want to bring all the fritters to the table at the same time, instead of serving them right from the pan as they are done.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry, and gently fold into the batter.
In a large, deep, heavy skillet (do not use nonstick here), heat
Line a serving plate or ovenproof platter with crushed paper towels. Serve the fritters immediately, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, brown sugar, or maple sugar, or, less desirably, keep warm on a rack placed over the platter in a slow oven until all the fritters are ready to be brought to the table.
© 2008 Jayne Cohen. All rights reserved.