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Donuts, With Fruit!

I've had so much fun looking through my growing collection of 1960s cookbooks from Vermont. Some are fancy, professional affairs, with sleek photographs and scientific recipes. But my favorites are the small, locally-produced church and community organization cookbooks. They are such an interesting reflection of what home cook's (yes, mostly women at that point) lives were like and what kinds of foods they were putting on the table every day. I've found cooking from these cookbooks such a useful way of learning about my characters.

A number of the community cookbooks in my collection have recipes for apple fritters. What's not to love about fritters? They are a simple, less fussy donut. You just mix the batter and drop it into hot fat. No rolling, no rising, no resting. And fritters can make use of any scraps of fruits or vegetables you have lying around the kitchen. Have an apple that's getting a little brown or soft? Make apple fritters. You'll be glad you did.

Apple Fritters (This is a combination of a couple of different recipes. Some include cinnamon, but I like them plain!)

Mix together 1 ½ cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Then mix together 3/4 cup milk, two eggs and a dash of vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until it forms a thick batter. Peel, core and slice two tart apples and fold into batter. Heat enough vegetable so that it's at about the 2 inch mark in your pot. Wait until a test spoonful of batter sizzles and quickly turns golden. Then cook the fritters in batches, dropping a tablespoon or so of batter into the hot oil and cooking for about 3 minutes or until both sides are golden. Drain on a paper towel and roll in cinnamon sugar or sprinkle with powdered sugar.


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