Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

Pear Fritters Have Sunk My Battleship


I know this must come as a great shock to you, but pear fritters are not the answer to your diet dilemma.  They are made with whole milk, deep fried and then rolled in sugar.  Does that not scream diet food?  In all seriousness though, these fritters are some heavenly cross between funnel cake from the fair (c’mon you know you love it), and a deliciously airy homemade doughnut.  These particular fried delights are elevated a touch as they are full of gingered pears and have a touch of lemon zest.

Although these pear fritters are deep fried in the oh-so-health-conscious Canola oil, they are still not what you would call a diet food.  I detest dieting.  I know, you love it.  I hear you.  The only reason that I am even mentioning the terrible four letter word, never to be uttered aloud is because I voluntarily entered a crazy neighborhood “Biggest Losers Challenge”.

I know, I’m a masochist…I do realize it’s almost Thanksgiving and Christmas baking is around the corner.  Surprisingly though, it’s actually a riot.  I have never had more fun shedding a few pounds in my entire life.

This is how it goes down every week:  A couple of days before the big weigh-in my email is literally flooded with perhaps 50 comments about the upcoming BIG DAY.  The first of the bunch is usually a directive to “BYOB” to the social hour that follows the weigh-in.  Then there are many questions and concerns that get shot around such as, “What happened to the Saturday Brunch weigh-in?”, or offers like, “I can make my Blueberry French Toast, if we do Brunch?”

My favorite is one guy’s email… “My opinions are subject to change pending whatever my wife says she wants to do.”  Can you even imagine the zingers that were thrown his way from the other guys in the group?!

Another stellar comment this week came after the debate over when to end the challenge; the morning of Thanksgiving (YIKES!) or the Saturday before. His comment went something like this…”I vote for weigh-in on Saturday.  After that all bets are off.  I’m eating and drinking all day on Thanksgiving.”

Can you see why this weightloss was almost—dare I say—FUN, this time around?!  Apparently, I am in this group of boozers, food lovers and comedians who have actually ALL LOST WEIGHT!!! You’re ready to jump in, aren’t you?

My only complaint is to those very annoying pounds that are dropping from me ever so slowly.  I have been spending the thoughtful parts of my weekend trying to piece together the mystery as to why I am not the big winner for this week, nor the big winner over the last three weeks.  If you just click through a handful of the recipes on this site, I think you will connect the dots.  Believe it or not, baking two or three times a week is NOT THE ANSWER to losing weight.  I know, this is earth shattering information.

So, lying in bed last night, while I contemplated what I would be making this morning for this post, I tossed around healthier, lighter fare.  I had a beautiful bowl full of gorgeous pears begging to be used, and I knew that somehow pears would be in the picture.  Poached pears would be nice, I thought, with a rich balsamic honey sauce, right?  So light, so diet friendly, and maybe those pounds would drop off me  just a little bit faster or at least not as slowly as molasses drops off a spoon.

But then I awoke, and my mind was clear and Pear Fritters were the obvious—albeit diet disastrous— answer to my “What to Post?” question.  They are really so delicious…they are worth it I promise you.

I only ate two little fritters if that is any consolation.  As I nibbled the last one, I contemplated packing up little “care packages” of fritters for my fellow dieters and anonymously dropping them on their doorsteps.  Some read my blog though…I think I would have been walked off a plank somewhere or at least my front yard would have been “teepeed”.  Ah well, diets have been sunk by far lesser and banal things than pear fritters.  At least I went down in a fried and sugared dough ball of glory.

Pear Fritters with Lemon and Ginger
Changed up a bit from Fine Living Magazine, December 2010 Issue
2 small firm-ripe pears (preferably Bartlett), peeled, cored and finely diced
1 T. finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 t. finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 c. plus 1 T granulated sugar (I used baking sugar)
2 t. plus 1/8 t. ground cinnamon
3 large egg whites (at room temperature)
1 c. whole milk
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 to 2 1/2 c. canola oil

In a small bowl, combine the pears, ginger, lemon zest, 1 T. of the sugar, and 1/8 t. cinnamon.  Stir together and let sit (macerate) at room temperature for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks (see photo above).  In another medium bowl, whisk the milk, 1/2 c. of the sugar, and the vanilla until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is slightly frothy.  Whisk in the flour just until combined—it shouldn’t be completely smooth.  With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the egg whites, and then fold in the pear mixture.  In a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 c. sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.

The directions tell you to pour 1/2 an inch of oil in a cast-iron skillet, but I actually used a medium pot and it worked just fine.  Use what you have.  Clip a candy thermometer to the side.  This is important.  Your oil needs to get to 250 degrees Farenheit.  Heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat.  Layer paper towels on a cookie sheet near where you will be frying your dough.

Once the oil is at 250, you can lower it to medium so the temperature remains steady and does not climb.  Use a medium icecream scoop, which holds about 2 T. of the dough, to drop 3 scoopfuls of dough into the oil (ever so gently please!).  Cook them on one side for two minutes.  Do not crow the pot by putting in more fritters.  They won’t fry as nicely and they will want to converge and meld together into one giant dough-ish ball.  Not pretty.  Flip each fritter over with a slotted spoon and cook another two minutes.  Take the fritters out with the slotted spoon and set them on the paper towels.  Scoop the next dough balls and repeat.  While those are frying, gently roll your fritters in the cinnamon sugar.  Serve these guys warm…it’s the only way to go.  The aroma coming from your kitchen will literally make you feel happy all day.  Seriously, between the smell and taste of these fritters, your day will be stellar.  Enjoy!

22 thoughts on “Pear Fritters Have Sunk My Battleship

  1. No way, this is definitely my kind of diet. Deep fried sweets? Errrr yes please. Argh, the life of being a food blogger. Makes it real difficult to lose weight when all I want to do is eat…and then recreate your amazing dishes!

  2. If the pounds are dropping off slowly then you are doing something right.. they are more likely to stay off, But I am not eating these deicious yummy crunchy delectable things in a million years! Well maybe just a teensy taste!! c

  3. These look AMAZING. Your entire post made me laugh. I definitely think that you should create some awesome care packages for your neighbors. That way you can bake your heart out and share the consequences.

  4. Oooh Geni, you are naughty!! I just couldn’t…..well, okay, just one 🙂 Whatever I bake, I quickly send home the remaining with my guests or take it to work….so my dieting coworkers get a treat!!

  5. How gorgeously delicious – Geez Geni, I can almost smell it and I am just about to sleep – I know what I’ll be dreaming off 😉

  6. Dieting in November? Are you nuts? January is meant for dieting, except for the week before and after my birthday on the 24th. Um … OK … Dieting is for the 1st 2 weeks of January and all of February. Wait, Presidents Day is in February …

  7. Geni, darling, anything that can take me down in a “fried and sugared dough ball of glory” is CLEARLY worth eating. Cheers to you on doing this challenge with your friends! I think I’ll have to see if I can find such a support-gang soon here. Meanwhile, there are these gingered pear thingies . . . 😀

  8. According to this glutton a diet isn’t defined as the rejection of the tastiness you have posted here, but rather the scaling back of consumption. 2-3 instead of 4-5. 😉

    These sound phenomenal!

  9. Oh, Geni – you are hilarious! We’re seeing a um, dieting problem over here since I started baking, too. I just figure it’s go big or go home when it comes to baking. And it looks like you went big. I’m proud – and excited to hear how this challenge ends up. Good luck this month!!

  10. Wow that sounds so good, I dont care about diet if thats served in front of me.

  11. I love everything fried, including pears 🙂 P.S.: What is “diet” anyways? 🙂

  12. Pretty sure these are worth not losing weight for. Plus, Im a firm believer that you should be able to eat anything you want. Its really the only way to lose weight without going crazy. 🙂

  13. Ha ha ha …..
    Food blogging & diets don’t go hand in hand. No, foodies & diets don’t. I have been loosing some weight in the past few months & that is why baking has gone down to just once or twice a month.
    But now those fritters are making my resolve weaker. I’ll just walk a little more on that treadmill.
    PS : If I ever get on it. (treadmill I mean)

  14. I feel your pain. I keep eating calorie-rich foods that negate my hour and a half walking time everyday. =(

  15. Holy cow! These would torpedo my battleship! Wow! I don’t think I could stop eating these. And I totally want to live in your neighborhood – what a blast!!! That’s a great way to lose weight.

  16. I will gladly join your biggest looser if you will leave Pear fritters at my door step. They sound terrific! Worth every pound gained.

  17. Wow.. these absolutely looks gorgeous, I have some pears sitting in my fridge and it’s time to use them in this warm and aweet recipe.
    Thanks for sharing

  18. Well….they may not help your diet, but they sure do look delicious!

  19. Pingback: Bet You A Million Bucks Pumpkin Muffins « Sweet And Crumby

  20. I just stumbled onto your website and I love it! I can definitely relate to the not losing weight while blogging thing! And these fritters look amazing…so glad I don’t have a deep fryer right now or I’d be in serious trouble! 🙂

  21. How did I miss this post! I agree with Cecilia, you must be doing something right if the weight is coming off slowly. That’s the best way to keep weight off. I counsel my clients to lose no more than 2 lbs a week to be realistic and keep the wieght off. Besides, life would be boring if you could eat these scrumptious treats, right?!?

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