Workasaurus and Deadlineadactyl, while not slain have been beaten back with more than healthy doses of cunning, wit, guile, snarkasm and a good thwack or two from my rolling pin (if they were slain, then I'd have won the lottery or one of the equally wealthy but until now totally unknown Saatchi boys has fallen totally and utterly in love with me and has presented me with an engagement Aga (lilac, please) and we'd be off somewhere delicious and exotic with an excellent wireless connection).
My condo has smelled of peaches for the past week from the three-litre basket I picked up last week. Who needs those fizzy cans of air freshener or those plug-ins when you can just put out a bowl of fruit?
Soft, sweet and bursting with juices, a few were eaten straight out of hand. Ideally I'd have made a pie with them--they were so perfect--but piemaking wasn't in the cards: the temps have risen and since I do my crusts by hand, I'd probably worry the pastry into toughness. After flicking through a few pages, I found an idea so simple I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it before: fritters.
I founda recipe for Pasching Puffa (peach puffs/fritters) in the fat cakes section of our dear Edna's first cookbooks. My preference for cookbooks written by people who really cook and write for people who really cook goes without saying, but even I must smile when I read the heading "fat cakes." I'm not sure how many modern recipe writers, nor anyone on a plastic cooking show, could get away with naming something a "fat cake."
She explains, through the words of her friend Bevvy that fat cakes include doughnuts and fritters and anything else that's fried in deep fat. Personally, I think it could also be used to describe the way they poof into fatness as soon as the batter touches the searing hot oil.
The only adaptation I've made to the recipe is the addition of powdered ginger to the batter, and lowering the frying temp by about 10F--it originally called for 375F, but I found it too hot and the first few fritters browned a little too quickly, but what should have been soft cakey innards were still too wet.
(adapted from Edna Staebler's Pasching Puffa from Food That Really Scmecks p158)
Yields about 24
280g ap flour
1Tbsp baking powder
1tsp powdered ginger
80g softened butter
1tsp powdered ginger
275-300g chopped peaches (fresh or canned)
1/2tsp lemon juice
fat for frying (lard, shortening, oil)
Seive together the flour, baking powder, salt and ginger; set aside.
Mix the vanilla into the milk; set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Mix in the flour and milk mixtures, alternating, in the usual fashion (flour-milk-flour-milk-flour), scraping down the bowl every so often.
Fold in the chopped peaches and lemon juice.
Heat the oil to about 365F/185C. Drop batter by teaspoonfuls into hot fat; fry until golden. Drain on kitchen paper.
Dust with icing sugar, if desired. Serve slightly warmwith ice cream or dunked into maple syrup if you wish.
What I'm reading: Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
I'm a quill for hire!