Charlotte Mason, on Making ‘German Fritters’

"Take some well tasted crisp apples, pare, quarter and core them; take the core quite out, and cut them in round pieces ; put into a stew-pan a naggin of French brandy, a table spoonful of fine sugar powdered, and a little cinnamon : pour the apples into this liquor, and set them over a very gentle stove, stirring them often, but not to break them ; set on a stew-pan with some lard, when it boils, drain the apples, dip them in some fine flour, and put them into the pan, they will be brown and very good ; strew some sugar over a dish, and set it on the fire, lay in the fritters, strew a little sugar over them, and glaze them over with a red hot salamander."

Charlotte Mason, The Lady’s Assistant for Regulating and Supplying Her Table, 4th edition (1778)

These simple-seeming fritters sound like they’d be very sweet, very sticky, and very delicious indeed. I don’t know why they’re labelled ‘German’ – perhaps they are a traditional German dish, with a name like Bratapfelgebäck?[1] Hold on, I’m getting a message over the aether (for which, read: a Twitter DM from Barry M over in Germany…) telling me that something along the lines of Gewürzte Apfelkrapfen might be closer to the mark. Cheers, aether-Barry!

Anyhow: easy to make, tasty-sounding, what’s not to like? I don’t have any French brandy though, and I’m not sure how much a ‘naggin’ is either[2] so perhaps a generous splash of good cider will do instead? Maybe with a drop of whisky added if I’m feeling flash[3]. I think they’re calling out for a generous scoop of top-quality vanilla ice cream on the side as well[4].

How about you? Do you like the sound of Charlotte Mason’s eighteenth century ‘German Fritters’? If you feel inspired to give them a go, please do let me know how you get on, either by leaving a comment below, or by sending me an email with your notes and photos, if you’d like me to write up a blog post for you.


1 That’s what Google Translate suggests for ‘fried apple fritters’. Although reversing the translation it then gives me ‘baked apple pastries’ instead. Thanks, Google Translate!
2 Wait… another message from the aether… Wikipedia suggests it’s 140ml to 200ml ish.
3 Not 200ml of the stuff though, I’m not made of money.
4 Any excuse.


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