Apple Fritters

fritters, tansy, and posset

Makes around 24 smallish fritters – serves 4


1 large wineglass of warmed hoppy ale

1 and a half large wineglasses of flour

1 tsp yeast

2 egg whites

6 egg yolks

splash of cream

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

shot of brandy

pinch of salt

6 apples

To fry: vegetable oil

To sprinkle: sugar


Whisk all the ingredients except the apples together with a fork and leave in a warm place for 30-60 minutes. Slice the apples thin, coat them in batter, and fry them in boiling vegetable oil for 10-20 seconds on each side till they’re cooked but not too crispy (‘if your batter be too thin, it will drink suet; if it be in good temper it will swim’, advises Hannah Woolley).¬†Sprinkle them with sugar and eat.

photo (3)

‘in good temper’ – a bit runnier than custard



photo (2) photo

Recipe created from the best bits of various sixteenth and seventeenth century recipes, but mainly:

Elizabeth Grey, Countess of Kent (1653):

Make your batter with Ale, and Eggs, and Ye[a]st, season it with Milk, Cloves, Mace, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Salt, cut your Apples like Beanes, then put your Apples and Batter together, fry them in boyling Lard, strew on Sugar and serve them’

Hannah Woolley (1664):

‘Take the curd of a sack posset, the yolk of six eggs, the whites of two eggs, and a little fine flower, put in a little nutmeg and some ale, and a little salt, mingle them well together, then slice in some apples very thin, and so fry them in lard boiling hot; if your batter be too thin, it will drink suet’ if it be in good temper it will swim’

Next… posset, and tansy cake


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