The flights gave me a good 5 hours of reading time. So I buzzed right though Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. From what I gather, he’s one of the who’s who in the food biz. I like food science and the why’s and how’s of what makes good food happen so this book piqued my interest. The concept is that a chef (or home cook in my case) armed with these standardized ratios will be freed from recipe slavery. I have to say that, having read it, I do feel oddly liberated. Not that I have it all committed to memory quite yet, but understanding what proportions of flour to liquid to fat to baking powder to etc., etc. goes into making certain types of foods that we create with regularity has given me instant confidence. My balls are feeling brassier already. The book really helps take the mystery out of the standard preparations for things like bread, cookies, pasta, batters, stock, sausages, and some basic sauces. He does a great job of making cooking and recipe creation accessible to the masses. Of course, there’s a learning curve and you have to be willing to relinquish long held fears like measuring by weight as opposed to volume. This required that I purchase a scale, which I did. I even measured stuff on it and it was easy. See!
I decided on this OXO scale because it works for imperial and metric measurements and works up to 11 lbs. It’s also super easy to use. Dare I say that measuring ingredients this way may be even easier than using measuring cups??? Did you know that a cup of flour can weigh anywhere from 4-6 oz.? Imagine the variation when a recipe calls for several cups. Yikes. Ok, I’m a convert, a born-again. Time to start knocking down doors and handing out pamphlets.
Since I wanted to give my new scale a spin, I just had to try one of the baking related recipes. I promise that my family doesn’t only eat desserts. I also made a roast chicken last night according to a Ruhlman recipe but that’s the subject matter for another post. But first things, first. Dessert. Apple freakin’ fritters! I made them with white whole wheat flour but I won’t judge you if you want to use all purpose. I don’t think my husband noticed that I used whole wheat. He usually complains when I do. I believe the bowl full of fritters and ice cream he shoveled down was a good indication that they met his approval.
Whole Wheat Apple Fritters
Adapted slightly from Ratio
Chop 2 granny smith or fuji apples into cubes. Saute in 1 Tbs. butter, 1/4 sugar (less or more as desired), 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg until soft. Allow the apples to cool.
4 oz. white whole wheat flour (or AP)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 oz. milk
2 eggs separated
Combine dry ingredients. Add some additional cinnamon and sugar to the mix if desired. Wisk together milk and egg yolks. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and combine. Wisk egg whites until they form soft peaks. Fold egg whites into batter. Gently stir in apples. Pan fry in hot oil until dark golden brown. Test one or two to make sure they are cooking all the way through. If not, cook them a little longer. Top with cinnamon-sugar and vanilla ice cream. You can also try a glaze or a pastry cream as well. Enjoy!