In 2006, I spent a wonderful, lazy week under a palm-thatched cabana on an island beach in Thailand with my dear friend Cate. Every day was exactly the same. We breakfasted by the ocean and then set up camp in the hut, reading, swimming, and feeling like the luckiest girls on the planet. Even luckier when four o’clock rolled around and we ordered our daily dose of tea and banana fritters.
There is nothing better than sharing banana fritters with a friend. These cuties fry up so puffy and fragrant that it is in your best interest to invite a few friends over before you let yourself get carried away. A freshly fried mound of hot fritters, soft and banana-flecked, will be gone in minutes.
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
2 very ripe, small bananas, minced (about 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cups (7 7/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Vegetable oil, for frying
3 large egg whites
Line a plate with two layers of paper towels. In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the nutmeg and set aside. In another large bowl, with a rubber spatula, gently fold together the bananas, buttermilk, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of nutmeg. Without mashing the bananas, fold in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add the oil to a heavy-bottomed pot. You should have about 3/4 inch of oil. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and bring the oil to 350°F over medium-high heat.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until you have medium-stiff, but not dry, peaks, about 2 minutes. Gently fold the egg whites into the banana mixture.
Using a large spoon or a small cookie scoop, gently drop about 1 rounded tablespoon of the batter into the oil at a time. Add a few more but don’t crowd the pan. (Adjust the heat as necessary while frying to keep the temperature at 350°F.) Fry the fritters until golden brown and puffed, about 2 minutes a side, and then, with a slotted spoon, move them to the prepared plate to drain for about 30 seconds. Toss the warm fritters in the nutmeg-sugar mixture and serve hot. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Reprinted with permission from The New Sugar and Spice, by Samantha Seneviratne, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
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