Here is the problem with Sundays: We wake up bright and early to the sun sliding through our blinds and begin to almost instantly crave a Starbucks Venti Caramel Macchiato. But it doesn’t stop there. We can’t possibly ignore the fact that there is a perfectly good apple fritter behind the glass screaming at us to take him home. Dribbling in glaze, sparkling as if to wink at us, we can’t resist. The sound of the barista sliding one into the parchment bag is a familiar and welcomed sound.
Here is the problem with this particular Sunday: we ate like kings on Saturday. A lovely butterfly cut filet drizzled with oil and chunks of local lobster mixed with slices of juicy and red heirloom tomatoes. A few cups of whipped, creamy and rich mashed potatoes and sticks of succulent asparagus. Not to mention the bread and oil and the appetizers of fried Italian dishes and stuffed quahogs. Oh, and the martinis! Oh dear lord. Chambord shaken with vodka and pineapple juice. You are probably thinking: wait a minute! That doesn’t sound like a shoestring diet! And you are right. A special thanks to Groupon for making that happen and a double special thanks to our friends at The Talk in Watertown (MA) for providing it to us.
So instead of ingesting more calories than necessary, we decided to whip up a baked version of our fried little friends.
10 Pleasant Street, Lexington MA
We begin with a trip to our favorite farm in Lexington (MA). There is something about locally grown apples, picked by the gentle hands of a fellow New Englander that makes food taste better. Go with Cortland apples, they are the best for baking we hear. You will need about two cups of apples in the end.
Since we knew making these fritters would tire us out, we picked up a frozen pot pie for dinner and lobster bisque and sandwich wraps for lunch.
Hey! No one says we have to cook three square meals a day.
When you get home, immediately create a Fleetwood Mac station on Pandora. There is something about Stevie Nicks’ voice that puts us in the mood to cook and coerces the dough to rise. As an extra bonus, Pandora will throw in some Tears for Fears on occasion and who doesn’t like to have “Head over Heels” stuck in their heads?
There are a lot of steps and ingredients to these little gems, so check out the whole shebang here.
Our first batch of dough ended up here.
But wait! Before you run off and try this, know this: Our first two batches of dough ended up in the trash. So we offer to you a few words to live by:
Don’t buy crap yeast and don’t suck at working with good yeast, either.
And don’t forget that the yeast itself has a few instructions for you to follow in order for it to work. Not even Stevie Nicks could get our first sticky blob to rise. We almost had to cut Mark’s fingers off just to free him from the oozing dough that coated them. Rest in peace, wet, unforgiving blob of flour and water.
So we returned to the store, splurged for a jar of yeast rather than a packet of yeast.
And we started over.
But we finally (after three tries) found some yeast that was active. If it doesn’t look like the fluffy, frothy mound below after you mix it in 110 degree water and let it sit for 10 minutes, then don’t use it!
This is active yeast. Don't use yeast that doesn't look like this.
While the sweet doughy bundle of yeast, cinnamon, flour and water rose in our mixing bowl we indulged on the sandwiches and bisque made by our friends at Wilson Farm.
Homemade! But not by us.
Cute, huh?! Our bowl from Christmas Tree Shop (circa summer 2010) finally got to be used the way they had always dreamed they would be. We ate on our patio on this cool, sunny day. We would be remiss if we didn’t notice how similar the weather today was to the weather on this day 10 years ago.
Here are the sexy buggers on the pan after being cut by our small cookie cutter. They will rest here, under the comfort of freshly laundered Williams-Sonoma towels, for yet another hour where they continue to plump up to perfection.
We’re not going to lie. At this point, we were ready to just go out and buy damn fritters from Starbucks. It had moved from beyond craving and into obsession.
But we are resilient and strong, so we pressed on by prepping for the out-of-this-world-want-to-eat-it-by-the-spoonful glaze that will be
trickled dumped drizzled on the warm fritters when they come out of the oven.
Nothing beats fresh lemon juice. Three is all you need!
Adding the lemon juice to confectioners sugar and giving them a moment or two alone together in a food processor and voila. Instant glaze.
In the end, we had deliciously fluffy and warm bundles of love. Don’t expect the stickiness or sugary-ness of Starbucks. Instead, take its healthier baked cousin to work with you. It will make you think of Sundays.
A recommendation for those willing to take a stab at making them a little less healthy: triple the recipe for the glaze and submerge the fritters in a bowl after they cooled for a bit. Mmmmmmm.