Every summer we visit a local farm which offers "pick-your-own"
blueberries. The berries at this farm are fairly small, but not as small as
Maine wild blueberries, and packed with sweet, juicy flavor. These fritters
exploit the delightful midnight-colored fruit. In fact, we've made this recipe
with the large, tasteless (when raw) genetically-engineered
berries available in the supermarket year-round, and boy, what a little cooking
can do. Apparently blueberries taste a little sweeter after they've been exposed
to the heat.
This recipe assumes that you have fresh berries (it just won't work right
with frozen berries - at best, the fritters come out a gross green color, at
worst, they come out mushy). Berries which were frozen fresh, without syrup
(think loose, frozen blues in a plastic freezer bag) will do in a pinch. This
recipe also assumes that you have a good-quality food processor.
Good, light fritters are all about getting the wet and dry ingredients together
rapidly, to form a lumpy dough that's very thick. Finally, the recipe assumes
that you'll be in the mood to deep-fry food
in the heat of the blueberry season.
Some bakers will be tempted to dust the blueberries with flour, as one does
when making muffins or a cake. No need for the extra work in this case. Also, I've
recommended using sugar in this recipe, but it can be omitted (although you're
gonna deep-fry these things, so now ain't the time to become diet-conscious).
2 Cups All-Purpose White Flour
1 Tsp Salt
3 Tsp Double Acting Baking Powder (make sure it's not stale or these
won't rise properly)
4 Tsp Sugar
5 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup of half-and-half or light cream
1 cup of vanilla ice cream, melted
2 cups blueberries, washed and patted dry
Oil for deep-frying (I always use soy oil, however, peanut oil will
result in a decadently amazing product)
Begin by placing the first four ingredients in the bowl of your food
processor. Pulse the motor a few times so the dry ingredients are completely
In a medium bowl, combine the butter, half-and-half, eggs, and melted ice
cream. Stir rapidly with a fork to incorporate the eggs. Add this mixture to the
dry ingredients in the bowl of the food processor and pulse for just a second or
two. What you're going for here is the least amount of mixing action necessary
to combine the ingredients into a lumpy batter. The batter will be very
thick. Now, add the blueberries to the basket and pulse only until they're
combined with the dough. Note: this batter is so thick it's one of the
only things that makes my Cuisinart sweat a little. Yep, the motor will slow
down a bit, but remember, you're going after incorporating the berries without
cutting them up too much. The baking powder will start acting rapidly; the dough should rise
to about 1.5 times it's original volume ("poof!"). I don't recommend taking the dough out of the food
processor and folding in the berries, because that's too much handling for the
dough. Remember: the less you handle the dough, the lighter your fritters will
Heat plenty of oil up in a skillet or large saucepan. The fritters need
plenty of room to swim. The oil level should be about four inches up the side of
the vessel you're using. Try to keep the heat at about 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Warning: deep frying fat is very, very dangerous. Small children should be out
of the room when you start frying fritters. And use care when dropping the
fritters into the oil; it will spatter and it will hurt you,
By now you've noticed that the volume of batter in the food processor bowl
has started to increase dramatically. That's good! I can't stress strongly
enough that this batter should be handled as little as possible. That's why
you're going to scoop out the fritters right from the food processor bowl. This
way, you handle the batter less, and there're fewer items to wash up later.
I use a small to medium ice cream scoop to scoop up the fritters and drop
them in the hot oil. You can also just use a large spoon, and try to make the
dough-ball falling off the spoon as round as possible (with moistened fingers).
Some people use two large (larger than a tablespoon) spoons and work out a ball
of dough between them, before dropping in the oil. Each fritter should be about
1/4 cup in volume.
Get a slotted spoon ready to work your fritters, and remove them from the
oil. Fritters are really easy to deep-fry, because they float. When the side in
the oil becomes approximately as dark brown as a brown paper grocery sack
(approximately 2-3 minutes) tap the fritters on their sides with your spoon and
they'll flip right over for you with a minimum of encouragement. Cook the other
side 2 minutes. Drain the fritters on paper towels.
This recipe yields an even dozen fritters. Serve them with a dusting of
powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or Vermont Maple syrup. And please, please,
don't accuse me of foiling your diet!