New Year’s Eve or “The Feast of Frying”


First of all: Happy New Year! I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve and that 2014 will be a fantastic year for you all. I spent most of New Year’s Eve with my head above a frying pan, as is tradition here in the Netherlands. Well at least it is tradition for me, I reckon most people get their fried treats from a “kraam” (stand) to avoid the deep-fried fumes. This year I baked for three families, including my own, which meant I had to fry up a LOT of oliebollen (Dutch doughnuts), apple and pineapple fritters. Oliebollen are made with a yeasted dough, and eaten chiefly on New Year’s Eve, when the combined population of the Netherlands (17 million people) eat over 50 million pieces of the fatty snack. They are also eaten in Belgium, but not in quite such large numbers. Oliebollen are also sold throughout the rest of the year as well, usually on fairs and markets. Every year, Dutch newspaper AD has an “oliebollentest” to determine which stand fries the best oliebollen. Winning the title means large crowds queuing up in front of the lucky stand to get their hands on the best “bollen”. 

Apple fritters are also popular, a fresh inside and a fluffy fried batter outside. In the Netherlands, there is always much debate about what they are actually called. Their name is “appelbeignets”, but many people call them “appelflappen”, which are actually apple turnovers. They are also made with pineapple, for a bit of an exotic feeling in the middle of winter. They are lovely and fresh, and not as fatty and heavy as oliebollen and as such a great alternative. 

There are all sorts of oliebollen, with or without raisins and currants for example. The addition of pineapple and zest are also popular. In this recipe by the Eetschrijver you will find a very luxury “bol” with a complex flavour. I have adapted the recipe somewhat, tuning down the cinnamon and lemon zest a bit.
Recipe Oliebollen
yields: a large bowl of oliebollen 
equipment: a frying pan, an ice cream scoop (optional), paper towels
1kg all-purpose flour
750ml carbonated water
50ml milk
2 eggs
80gr fresh yeast or 27gr instant yeast
50gr unsalted butter (not margarine!)
30gr sugar
15gr salt
5gr cinnamon
grated zest of 1 lemon (only the yellow)
200gr raisins
100gr currants
100gr candied orange peel
150gr diced sour apple (such as Granny Smith)
icing sugar to dust (optional)
1. Rinse the raisins and currants with luke-warm (!) water, drying them carefully with a kitchen towel. 
2. Melt the butter on low heat in a heavy-bottom pan. Set aside to cool.
3. Dissolve yeast in the milk. Measure the flour, salt and sugar in a large round bowl and add the eggs, mixing well. Gradually add the carbonated water while continuously whisking until all lumps have disappeared.
4. Add the milk-yeast mixture, lemon zest and cinnamon and beat until well incorporated. Then add the raisings, currants, peel and apple and beat slowly with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. 
5. Cover the bowl with a moistened clean kitchen towel and leave the dough to proof in a warm spot for about 1 hour. In the meanwhile, preheat the oil in the frying pan to 180C/350F. 
6. Beat the dough slowly with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes. To scoop your “bollen”, use an ice-cream scoop or 2 spoons. Dip them into the hot oil for a second, then scoop a ball along the sides of the bowl. Drop the “bol” into the hot oil and fry for 3 minutes, then turn over with a vork and fry for another 3 minutes. Scoop the oliebollen out of the oil with a spoon skimmer and place in a colander lined with paper towels.
7. Dust with icing sugar right before serving.
source: Eetschrijven
Recipe Apple or Pineapple Fritters
125gr all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1.5 tbsp sunflower oil
125ml beer
for apple fritters:
4 sweet, aromatic apples
1 tbsp cinnamon
for pineapple fritters:
1 pineapple or 10 pineapple slices from a can, rinsed
1. Sieve the flour over a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the oil, salt and 1 egg. Whisk a few times from the outside to the inside of the bowl, then gradually whisk the beer into the batter. 
2. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towl and leave to rest for 1 hour in a warm spot. Meanwhile, heat the oil in the frying pan to 180C/350F.
3. Separate the remaining two eggs and whip egg whites to form stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into the batter until incorporated.
4. For apple fritters, peel and core the apples and cut into 1cm thick slices. Place in a bowl and add the cinnamon, making sure each slice is covered in the cinnamon. 
For pineapple fritters, peel, core and slice pineapple into 1cm slices or drain a can of pineapple slices, rinse the slices and pat them dry with a paper towel.
5. Using a fork, cover the slices evenly in batter. Slide them into the frying pan – fry on one side for 2.5 minutes, then turn them over and fry for another 2.5 minutes.
6. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
source: AH Allerhande 12, december 2012

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