The Olympics are over.
I can’t find a good book to read.
It’s too hot to go on a hike.
TV and movie listings are a barren wasteland.
I’ve become a rerun-watching, leftover-eating, expired magazine-reading hermit.
I need some comfort before the crickets overtake me. Let’s fry up a fritter or ten.
What is it about the combination of cinnamon, raisins, and oatmeal that is so incredibly comforting? I don’t know. It must be scientific. Or maybe magic!
Either way, when comfort is required, my polling suggests that 9.27 out of 10 people are reaching for some form of cinnamon, raisin and oatmeal – be it toast, cereal, or in this case, ridiculously good fried pancakes.
I personally believe that, when fritters take the form of pancakes, the batter should be whipped. Nobody likes a fritter that resembles a hockey puck! Or at least, again referring to my personal polling, only 0.14 out of 10 people like hockey puck fritters.
So I guess these fritters are for the other 99.86% of you.
I whipped the batter base in the bowl of my stand mixer with my whisk attachment and then folded in tons of raisins and oatmeal. I could already feel the comfort coming on like a warm, soft binky.
And when you make these fritters you really are enveloping yourself in comfort: your entire kitchen is going to smell simply divine. A warm, dee-licious comfort binky just for you! Studies suggest 10 out of 10 people will feel good about this.
Canela, Raisin & Oatmeal Fritters
2 c. self-rising flour
1/2 c. light brown sugar, tightly packed
1 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk
3 large eggs
2 tsp. canela, ground (cinnamon may be substituted)
1 c. raisins
1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 c. peanut oil plus more for frying (Although peanut oil is the clear choice here, vegetable or canola oil may be substituted in a pinch.)
confectioners’ sugar for finishing
Place the eggs, sugar, salt and canela in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk together on a low speed until blended. Increase the speed of the mixer and whip the mixture for several more minutes to incorporate as much air as possible. Once the contents of the mixing bowl are light and fluffy, stop the mixer and add in the flour alternating with the buttermilk. Mix on low speed until just incorporated. Set the batter aside to rest and rise slightly.
After about 5 minutes, gently fold the raisins and oatmeal into the batter.
Meanwhile, heat the oil over a medium flame. Correct frying technique requires constant monitoring: you don’t want the fritters to be too big or overcrowded in the pan, and you don’t want the oil to get so hot that it smokes, or so cold that it doesn’t cook the fritters all the way through. I suggest starting out with the initial quarter cup of oil heated over a medium flame for several minutes until hot in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet. Once the oil is shimmering hot, use a scoop implement to drop your fritters into the pan. I strongly suggest using an ejecting scoop that will scrape the batter out of the scoop and plop it directly and evenly into the pan – you need to work quickly and keep your fritters as similarly-sized as possible. I also used my scoop to flatten the tops of the fritters as soon as I had dropped them into the pan, and I cooked just 3 fritters at a time.
Fry the cakes for several minutes on each side – they’ll be puffed and golden brown when ready to flip. Flip them carefully when ready and resist the urge to pat them down – you want them light and fluffy! If you’re unsure of doneness you can use a sharp knife to cut into the center of one, but 2-3 minutes on each side should be sufficient. Remove cooked fritters to a paper towel-lined pan to drain and move on to the next batch (if you’re moving slowly or serving all at once after cooking all of the fritters you can place the towel-lined pan in a warm oven as you work). Note that you may need to refresh your oil as you cook: I did so in two tablespoon increments and only needed to refresh the oil twice.
Finish warm fritters with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.
YIELD: approximately 14-16 large fritters