Little House On the Prairie: Apple Fritters
Based on the popular series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House On the Prairie was a hit ’70s TV show that ran for nine seasons. Starring Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls–also the producer (and my fantasy dad)–the show follows the Ingalls family and their wholesome life in 1870s Minnesota. In every episode, they always have an abundance of love for each other, the good Lord, and old-fashioned comfort food.
Along with fresh baked bread and dinner cooking over an open fire, Ma (Karen Grassle) would often make apple fritters, a family favorite–in one episode, Pa (Michael Landon) enjoys them so much that he asks for seconds. This version of apple fritters is based on an updated recipe from an antique cookbook published in the late 1800s.
Yield: 12 bite-sized fritters
Skill Level: Medium
- Apple corer
- Small paring knife
- Cast iron pan
- Large bowl
- Wooden mixing spoon
- Kitchen scale
- Paper towels
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 8 apples
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 5-10 tablespoons of lard for frying (peanut, sunflower, or canola can also be used)
- 6 oz flour
- 1 large egg, the yoke separated from the whites
- 1/4 pint warm water
- A pinch of kosher salt
- Peel and core the apples; cut into small pieces, about ¼ inches thick. Sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside.
- Make the batter by mixing together the flour, salt, egg yolk, and warm water with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. About 30 minutes before frying the fritters, whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold carefully into the batter along with the apple pieces.
- Heat the cast iron pan on medium-high and melt a few tablespoons of lard or other frying oil. Test the surface by dropping some batter into the pan. The pan is ready if the batter rises quickly to the surface, forms into a puffball and bubbles up.
- Add more lard to the pan if needed. Then, with a large mixing spoon, drop as many spoonfuls of the apple fritter batter onto the pan, moving them frequently with a skimmer. When the fritters are done frying, take out of the pan with the skimmer, making sure to dislodge any pieces of lard or loose fried batter.
- Place fritters on a dish lined with paper towels and sift castor sugar over them.
Fun fact: The Charles Ingalls character was ranked #4 on TV Guide’s list of “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time” (June 20th, 2004).
Bonus tip: Castor sugar has a superfine grain that adheres well to the fried batter, but powdered sugar can also be substituted.