An earlier version of this recipe didn't ask for frozen peaches. It also misstated the metric volume conversion of the bourbon. This version has been updated.
I love making fritters at home because there’s room for improvisation. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a fritter as “a small mass of fried or sauteed batter often containing fruit or meat.”
That means you can go sweet or savory.
For this recipe, the batter contains a blend of cornmeal and all-purpose flour. Combining them helps to create a tender texture that makes it suitable for a variety of add-ins.
For a savory fritter, you can add fun mix-ins, such as cheese, corn kernels and/or other adjacent flavors. This can help you use up bits of leftovers, too.
Or you can dive into seasonal fruit, as I did with this recipe, which highlights the flavors of summer produce by using peaches as well as peach preserves to give the fritters a burst of bright, fruity flavors. Use ripe, fresh peaches in the summer. Frozen or canned peaches work well year-round.
I’ve always loved how this stone fruit pairs with cinnamon, brown sugar and bourbon, so I make a glaze, which I spoon over the fritters as a finishing touch. But you could also drizzle your favorite syrup or add a dollop of soft whipped cream.
What’s beautiful about the sweet version of these fritters is that once you get it down, you can make them year-round by substituting your favorite seasonal fruits, such as strawberries in the spring or apples in the fall.
Peach Fritters With Maple-Bourbon Sauce
Storage: The fritters are best eaten right away; store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 day.
NOTE: Fresh peaches are best here, but you can also use unsweetened (or very lightly sweetened) canned or sliced frozen peaches. To peel whole peaches, fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Score a long, shallow “X” into the bottom of each peach before lowering them into the boiling water. Let them boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the peels start to loosen. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peaches to the ice bath and let them cool for a few minutes. Drain, peel, pit and slice the peaches before continuing with the recipe.
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For the fritters
- 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (89 grams) finely ground cornmeal
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten, at room temperature
- 6 ounces frozen peaches, finely chopped (see headnote; if using fresh peaches, see NOTE)
- 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) well-shaken buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons peach preserves
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
- Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling
For the maple-bourbon sauce
- 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) maple syrup
- 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) bourbon
- 1/4 cup (55 grams) packed light brown sugar
- One (3-inch) cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon ground
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the fritter batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt until combined. Add the egg, peaches, buttermilk, preserves and vegetable oil and stir together until thoroughly combined; set aside.
Make the maple-bourbon sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the maple syrup, bourbon, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce has reduced by half, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a small heatproof bowl and set aside.
Make the fritters: In a large Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet, add enough oil to come 1/2 inch up the sides, and heat the oil over medium heat until it registers 350 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (If you don’t have an instant-read thermometer, test the oil by dropping a small bit of the batter in the oil; if it immediately starts to vigorously sizzle and bubble, the oil is ready.) While the oil heats, line a wire rack with paper towels.
Working in batches, using either a 3-tablespoon measure or disher No. 24, gently slide the fritter batter into the oil. Fry until golden brown, turning the fritters over halfway through, about 6 minutes total. Adjust the heat as needed to ensure that the oil temperature does not exceed 375 degrees.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to the prepared rack.
Transfer the fritters to a platter or individual plates. Spoon the sauce over the fritters, top with a sprinkle of the flaky salt and serve warm.
Due to variables in frying, an accurate analysis is unavailable.
From food writer Will Coleman.
Tested by Suzy Leonard; email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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