I went for a walk this morning around the waterfront. The harbour was flat, not a sparkly-blue-come-jump-in-me sort of flat but more a dull flat, like the sea was bored. There were hardly any runners, or tourists, or families on Crocodile Bikes. There were a couple of men standing around orange road cones looking at graffiti. There were a few rowers out, their coach standing on the edge of the walkway doing a strange sort of rower Thai chi towards them. I wondered when this walk, this mundane exercise, would be over. Just as I thought that another far more exciting thought entered my head: BRUNCH! Or, more specifically, apple and oat fritters.
I walked home with a renewed sense of vigour, planning the recipe in my head as I went. I was thinking of thick fritters, flecked with the red and green of grated apple, spiced with cinnamon and sweet with honey and apricots. Would it be melodramatic to say that the harbour suddenly seemed more exciting, more blue, more alive with activity??
The basic recipe for these fritters comes from Chocolate and Zucchini. I’ve made this carrot version a few times with oats, leaving out the nutritional yeast and using an egg as a binder. (As long as the eggs are good quality and from free range hens I see no reason to leave them out of my diet.)
Once home, I soaked several chopped dried apricots in a cup of hot water with a tablespoon of honey. In a bigger bowl I mixed 100 grams of rolled oats, a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of allspice. I grated one and a half apples. After 15 or so minutes the apricots were softened slightly and nicely sweetened. I stirred the apricots, honey-water and apples into the oats. Taste a pinch at this point, for sweetness. Mix through a beaten egg, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
In the fridge the rolled oats absorb the sweet, spicey, appley water, growing larger and softer, sticking together like Bircher muesli mush. Mmm, doesn’t that sound nice? But, then you melt a knob of butter in a fry pan and mould a heaped spoonful of oat mush into palm sized fritters into the pan. Distract yourself for a moment; empty the dishwasher or make a pot of coffee. Look back at your fritters and see the oats near the heat of the pan begin to bind together as if made with flour. The oat fritters develop a delectable crisp outside with a soft, mealy centre.
I served these oat fritters with yoghurt and a drizzle of apricot jam. Around the plate I sprinkled a small handful of roughly chopped cinnamon sugared almonds which Francesca made. (Recipe to come – they are addictive.)
Makes about 5-6 fritters.