After seeing “Chef” the Hollywood movie about a chef who launches a massive food-truck selling quick fried food across the USA, it made me think about the origin of this concept which has been around for years on the streets in Frances. Whilst the markets started with fresh produce one would also find hand wheeled barrows or mini “food trucks” offering ready-made foods such as crepes or beignets. One of my favourites is Beignets with apples. These are scrumptious, thin slices of apple coated with a light batter and fried until golden. With the cooler weather this week I decided that some Beignets would be a lovely little treat. I found a traditional batter recipe in my favourite old French cook book, ”Good French Cooking” by Mapie Toulouse-Lautrec. Unusually the recipe included some Cognac. I changed this to Calvados to pair with the apples. At the same time I added some Comté from the Jura cut in chunks and coated them with batter, the cheese got all gooey and tasted incredible. The apples and cheese made a wonderful combination. I served them with a glass of Calvados.
Ingredients for 4 guests:
- 225g Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 75ml Olive oil
- 90ml Milk
- 1 tablespoon Calvados
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large Granny Smith apples
- 100g/150g Comté du Jura cheese from the French Market shop
- Fresh Basil leaves (optional)
- Bottle of cooking oil
- A bottle of Chrstian Drouin Calvados available at the French Market shop
- Separate the eggs and put egg whites in separate container in fridge
- Sieve the flour and pour into the blender.
- Add the milk and blend until there are no lumps
- Blend in the olive oil and egg yolks until thoroughly mixed
- Blend in the Calvados
- Put into a covered container and leave to stand for at least 2 hours. Ideally keep in the fridge overnight.
- Once the batter has stood, beat the egg whites stiff and add to the batter mixture
- Peel and core the apples. Slice thinly
- Cut the Comté into cubes
- Heat the oil until a small drop of batter cooks quickly but does not burn
- Mix the apple slices into the batter until coated on all sides. Use a pair of kitchen tongs to drop the pieces one by one into the hot fat.
- Cook a few at a time and remove from fat as soon as they are a golden brown.
- Place on kitchen towel to take off the excess oil.
- Keep warm until all the apple has been cooked.
- If you wish to use Basil leaves – coat them in batter and quickly fry them
- Coat the cheese in the batter and quickly cook
- Take out immediately it starts going golden otherwise the cheese might run out of the batter.
- Place the apple slices and the cheese cubes on a hot serving dish and serve immediately
Serve with a glass of Calvados.
Click here for the pdf copyFrench Market Recipe 37 – Beignets aux pommes et Comte