A couple of weeks ago I got the idea that I wanted to make beer-battered apples. I’ve never beer-battered anything before so I had no idea how easy it is. A little research showed this isn’t even an original idea, but I didn’t know that when I thought of it, so I’m claiming it as original anyway.
Once I understood how simple beer batter is I decided to make this an experiment. I’ll use four pumpkin ales to make four batches of apple fritters and I’ll prepare the apples for the batter a different way each time. The basic batter recipe I’m using is one-and-a-half cups of flour to one 12-ounce bottle of beer. Preparation is as easy as dumping the flour into a bowl, adding the beer, and whisking them together. Done.
For batch one, I used River Horse Hipp-O-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin Ale. River Horse is a NJ brewery and I’m not sure what their availability is out-of-state, but it’s worth trying a bottle if you happen to see it and are a fan of pumpkin beer. With its heavy spice notes and creamy flavor, it was a really good choice for this experiment. As is often the case with pumpkin beer, the aroma of pumpkin is much stronger than the actual taste of pumpkin. The spice is what really comes through in the flavor.
I prepared the apples by cutting them into match sticks and tossing them with sugar before adding them to the batter. Nothing fancy here at all. I dropped them into the hot oil to make little haystacks.
For a first try, these were pretty good. Frying isn’t normally part of my kitchen repertoire so this will be a learn as I go kind of thing. I dropped the fritters into the oil when it hit 350°, but I think 375° would be better next time. The fritters fried for 2-3 minutes on each side, but I think that was a little too short. Maybe 4 minutes a side for next time in order to get some deeper color on the crust.
Even considering the learning curve, they came out really tasty. The apples were perfectly soft and sweet, the crust was crisp, and the pumpkin pie spice of the ale added subtle flavor. I wasn’t a big fan of the haystack form, though. That turned out to not be a winning strategy. Overall, though, a very good first attempt.
Next time: chopped apples and Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale.