In high school, some friends and I volunteered at the Hay Creek Valley Fall Festival at Joanna Furnace, around the corner from Weaver’s Orchard. The Hay Creek festival recreates early American arts, like blowing glass, pressing cider, and cooking over an open fire.
It was this open-fire cooking that my friends and I signed up to help with. It was an opportunity to dress up in colonial garb and spend a day in the company of other women– chatting, chopping, cooking, and occasionally crying out, “I hate rabbits!” if the wind blew smoke at us. (Apparently this saying has a long tradition but an unclear origin.)
The recipe I remember best was called “chomp,” made with tomatoes, peppers and vinegar. The Hay Creek Festival still features open fire cooking, so I was able to find out what else we’d cooked: apple fritters and apple pot pie, among other dishes. Weaver’s featured the apple pot pie recipe on the blog a few years ago, and while the recipe below is not the one we made at Joanna Furnace, it’s quite delicious. But unlike cooking over an open fire, it is not too labor-intensive.
The resulting fritters taste like yeast donuts, but they don’t take as long to make since it’s baking powder, rather than yeast, that makes them rise.
After eating one more fritter, just to make sure I’m describing them right, I realized I should mention that they have a pleasant fresh apple flavor. The apples get soft and warm, but not as soft as they would in a pie.
- 1 cup flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 egg, beaten
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
- ½ cup cooking oil
- Mix dry ingredients, then add beaten egg and milk and whisk until combined. Add chopped apple. The mixture won't full incorporate, but the batter is sticky enough to hold the apples.
- Prepare a plate with a paper towel on top, for draining the cooked fritters when they are ready.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once heated, drop batter from a teaspoon into the oil. Watch until the bottom starts to brown, then flip over and cook until this side is also nicely browned.
- Transfer to paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Serve warm.