Apple or Pear “Doughnuts”

If you’re not fussed about the doughnut shape, the fruit can be thinly sliced into wedges, dipped and fried that way instead.

1-2 tart apples or ripe but firm pears

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
pinch cinnamon
1/2 cup club soda, ginger ale or beer

canola oil, for frying
powdered sugar, for sprinkling

Slice your apples (unpeeled) into rings about 1/4″ thick and cut out the cores from the middle, making a ring. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger ale or beer to make a thin batter – it should have the consistency of cream.

In a wide pot, heat an inch or two of canola oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. (You’ll know it’s ready when a scrap of bread held into the oil bubbles around it.) Dip a few slices of apple at a time into the batter, coating them completely, then gently slip into the oil. Cook a couple at a time for a minute or two, flipping with tongs as necessary, until golden. (If they are cooking too quickly, turn the heat down – if it’s taking too long, the oil may need to be hotter. Don’t crowd the pot, or it will bring the temperature of the oil down.)

Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain. Once cool enough to handle and eat, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Makes lots.