When I was growing up, my mom, of course, would cook for Christmas. Her twin sister married a man from Holland, and shared some of the new recipes she learned. One of these, which became a bit of an obsession for me, was Oliebollen.
Literally, “oliebollen” means “fat balls” or “oil balls” in Dutch. That’s because they are deep fried, like doughnuts. But they really are nothing like doughnuts — at least I don’t think so. I could eat, like, a dozen of these by myself (and I think Child Me actually did just that, on several occasions). My mom, or my aunt, would make these for pretty much every big shindig, and I was delighted every single time.
It’s a fairly simple recipe; simpler than baking bread. The recipe below makes enough to serve 20. Why not try these for your next holiday party? They are the BOMB, trust me.
2 pkg yeast
1 cup milk, warmed
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 tart apple (or 2 or 3), diced small
Blend the yeast in the lukewarm milk in a cup. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and the salt. Add the milk/yeast mixture; mix into a batter, adding the beaten egg. Stir in the raisins and diced apples. Cover the bowl with a cloth and allow the batter to rise until double. (If you add a bit of sugar, or better yet honey, to the batter, it will rise faster, and the oliebollen will be fluffier.)
Heat oil in a pan, several inches deep, to 375 degrees. Drop the batter in by spoonfuls, and fry until brown. Put on a paper-towel-covered plate. Put a bowl of sugar next to it, for rolling the oliebollen in. Bask in the accolades of your family and friends.
Spekaing of recipes, Darren Marlar is cooking up something wonderful over at Weird Darkness. Why don’t you wander over and check out what’s going on? Bet you’ll be glad you did … www.weirddarkness.com