"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? 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 so perhaps a generous splash of good cider will do instead? Maybe with a drop of whisky added if I’m feeling flash. I think they’re calling out for a generous scoop of top-quality vanilla ice cream on the side as well.
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.|