annie smither’s superb corn fritters
Sunday brekkie – corn fritter, crispy bacon, fried egg and maple syrup.
On the rare occasion we go out for breakfast and on the even rarer occasion when corn fritters are on the menu, I can not go past ordering them. It’s slightly masochistic behaviour because, I have never had a good corn fritter. Usually they are a disappointment. Stodgy, not corny or just very ordinary, plain. This also applied to home cooked corn fritters too – until last weekend.
This recipe (from Stephanie Alexander, who got it from Annie Smithers) is fantastic. Light, savoury and flavoured with herbs, the key is to rest the batter for a minimum of one or two hours. The gluten relaxes, the herbaceous flavours are absorbed and it transforms into a silky batter. In the meantime, you can sneak back into bed!
Corn fritters go particularly well with salty and sweet, so serve them up with crispy bacon and lashings of maple syrup (no imitation syrup – it simply isn’t the same). I think a chunky tomato relish would be great too.
Stephanie’s recipe suggests frying in clarified butter to give a golden colour sans burning. You can make the clarified butter but save yourself the trouble and use canned ghee instead. Or oil the pan using a light vegetable oil. The original recipe also called for 3 freshly boiled corn cobs which are then denuded, which would be divine, but I used 2 cups of frozen corn kernels.
Annie Smither’s Corn Fritters
adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s The Kitchen Garden
Makes 15 fritters
240 gm plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 3/4 cups milk
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1/2 tbsp chives, chopped
2 cups corn kernels (frozen or canned)
30 gm butter, melted
ghee, clarified butter or light vegetable oil
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt, and make a well in the centre.
In a jug whisk the milk and egg together and pour into the dry ingredients. Whisk well – the batter will become smooth with no lumps.
Add the herbs, corn and melted butter. Stir together until the butter is incorporated.
Cover the batter with a tea towel and allow to stand for at least an hour (up to two hours).
At this point, you can crawl back into bed or watch morning cartoons. Or you could be totally industrious and cook up bacon and use the very wicked bacon fat for greasing the fritters later on…
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and add a thin layer of butter or oil (or bacon grease!). Dollop in portions of the batter and cook until the underside is golden (watch the heat carefully, these tend to burn easily). Flip over and cook through.
Cook until all the batter is used and add butter or oil as needed – of course the more oil you add the more crustier and tastier it will be…
Serve immediately with bacon, maple syrup or chunky tomato chutney.
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