Thursday, December 13, 2012

Persimmon Fritters (★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆)

Making donuts shouldn't be this easy. 

And I'm not talking about "healthy," pour some cake batter into a cute donut mold, bake it in the oven at 350F, and call it a "donut" easy. 

I'm talking artery clogging, golden deep fried goodness.

Nope, it isn't right.

Not at all. 
See I decided I wanted to incorporate Persimmons into my holiday baking.

I can't think of a fruit that better exudes the very essence of autumn than the Persimmon.

The leaves-turning-rusty-orange color,
The bite that tastes of Thanksgiving itself,
The pulp "seasoned" with little brown flecks.

Yes, persimmons are worthy of a holiday post.

Plus, they're my BFF's fav.  And since she was so devastated last week, these were all hers.

At least, that's what I told her.  
See, once I started making these, and began eating the gobs and gobs of fried dough pieces smothered in cinnamon-sugar that had "accidentally" fallen off the persimmon slices, I realized something.

These were for me.  

Actually, if I really get down to it - everything I bake is for me. 

I won't bake something I wouldn't like to eat.  
I have to taste as I go.  

That's like the number one rule to good baking skills.  And if something doesn't sound good to me, then I'm not going to make it. 

I've never heard anyone around here beg for donuts, or lament on the fritter shortage in my house.

Nope, I filled in those pieces completely on my own.  

Remember that episode of Friends where Joey challenges Phoebe to find a selfless good deed?

Ya, she couldn't do it.  

How was she supposed to know that letting a bee sting her so he could look tough in front of all his bee friends would put an end to his little life?  She grew up on the streets, mugging the Ross Gellar's of the world, not on some country ranch.   

But I'm not even really sure why having no "truly" selfless good deeds is such a problem.

I mean, if I helped my elderly neighbor rake his leaves, and he rewarded me with cookies...tell me what's so terrible about that? 

He has a clean yard.  I have a belly full of cookies. The world is at peace. 
Persimmon Fritters
adapted from Martha Stewart

1/2 Cup Sugar + 2 Tbsp
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
2 Eggs
2 Cups Buttermilk
4 tsp Vegetable Oil + 2 Cups
2 Cups Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
5 Fuyu Persimmons (not too ripe)

Candy Thermometer
Large Deep Skillet
Cooking Prongs
Makes approx. 20 pieces
*Not great for storing.  Best served immediately or same day.
 1) Start by double checking the accuracy of your candy thermometer.  Place it in a pot of boiling water.
     Water boils at 212F.  So add or subtract the appropriate degrees to adjust for the difference.  You'll
     need to remember this later.
2) Wash and hull the persimmons.  Slice each into four pieces lengthwise.  Remove any seeds as you
3) In a small bowl, preferably one with a flatter bottom, mix together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. 
    You're going to be coating the persimmon fritters in this, so the less curved the bowl, the easier it will  
    be to coat the pieces. 
4) In a medium sized bowl, add eggs and beat lightly with a fork/whisk.  
5) Add buttermilk and 4 tsp oil.  Whisk together.
6) Add in flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well until smooth.
7) Set up shop.  You want everything in an assembly line to help with the process.  
     Persimmons - Batter - Frying Oil - Cooling Rack w/Paper Towels - Cinnamon/Sugar Mixture
 8) Add 2 cups of oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat.  Hold the candy thermometer in the
     pan, being careful not to touch the tip of it to the bottom.  You will get a reading that is too high if it
     touches the actual pan. Once it reaches 375F, test a little batter in the pan.  If it sizzles, and tiny
     bubbles form all around, you are ready to start.
9)  Using a fork, dip each slice of fruit into the bowl of batter.  Make sure it is thoroughly covered in
     batter and place in pan.  *Tip: Try not to pierce the piece too deep with the fork.  The easier it is to
     take off the less oil splashing there will be.
10) Fry each side till golden brown and crispy.  If it gets dark too quickly turn down the heat.  Adjust as
      needed.  Each side should take between 1 - 2 minutes.  Flip with cooking prongs.
11) You can cook multiple fritters at a time depending on the size of your pan.  Make sure there is room  
       around each fritter so the oil can continue cooking the sides. 
12) After you've flipped the fritters and they are golden brown on both sides remove from the pan, 
       letting the excess drip back, then place on a cooling rack.  Make sure you have a couple layers of 
       paper towels underneath to catch the excess.  
13) Remove the fallen pieces and remnants as they will continue to cook and burn.  (You can toss 
      these in cinnamon-sugar and eat...I won't tell).
14) After the pieces have cooled slightly, toss in cinnamon sugar.  
15) Serve immediately.  You can reheat these in an oven on some foil at 350F for a few minutes to "re-
      crisp" if needed.  Eat within 2 days.  
 Persimmons for her.  
Sweet, crispy, deep fried batter for me.  
Friendship at its finest. 

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