Cooking like Keller, Part IV: Apple Fritters & Calvados Ice Cream

Apple Fritters with Calvados Ice Cream & Cajeta

Apple Fritters with Calvados Ice Cream & Cajeta

The fourth (& final) installment of “A Very Thomas Keller Thanksgiving”

If you’re wondering, my god, is she still posting about Thanksgiving when Christmas is only a few days away, the answer is (sadly) yes. Trust me, I know — I can’t believe it took me so long to plow through one meal! I’d be embarrassed but this is a crazy time of year and I’ve had a lot to deal with over the past 2 weeks so I’m keeping my head held high as we approach the finish line.

After eating oysters and caviar, scallops with endive, and seared quail in pomegranate, I wanted the final course in our Thomas Keller-inspired Thanksgiving feast to be just as impressive. After searching through several of his cookbooks I decided on hot apple fritters (from Ad Hoc) with Calvados ice cream (Bouchon).

This dessert would have been the perfect finale to our four-course dinner…if my husband and I had had the motivation. After cooking and eating three courses already, our ambition started to slip. We managed to make the Calvados ice cream but when it came time to set up a pot for deep frying, I admit I bailed out first.

“Maybe we should just eat the ice cream and call it a night,” I suggested.

My husband, who as a chef probably wanted nothing more than to not cook that day, quickly agreed.

So we sat down to a big bowl full of freshly churned ice cream and a glass of ice cider from a bottle we bought in Montreal a few years ago. The ice cream seemed a little lonely so we topped it with spoonfuls of Portland Creamery’s cajeta (a delicious goat’s milk caramel) and ate it while sitting on the couch watching TV. Quite honestly, it was just what we needed.

Calvados Ice Cream and Cajeta

Calvados Ice Cream and Cajeta: An excellent end to a fabulous day of food.

The ice cream was very rich, I’m sure due to the fact that it was made with creme fraiche, and was a luxurious dish even without the fritters to accompany it. The apple flavor is subtle, in fact I think next time I would bump up the amount of Calvados, but it was still a wonderful finish to the evening. It was also great spooned on top of mugs of hot apple cider later that week.

A few days later, I started to feel bad about not finishing the dish we had planned, so the weekend after I made the dessert we were meant to enjoy on Thanksgiving night.

I will confess something — the apple fritters turned out to be so simple that I almost regret not having just gone for it that day. The batter, made from pantry staples, is just whisked together by hand. The apples are peeled and cut into batons, then they are dunked in the batter and dropped in hot oil where they fry for around 5 minutes. Nothing overly complicated.

Within 30 minutes, Project Fritter was complete.

Thomas Keller's Apple Fritters

Thomas Keller's Apple Fritters

Apple Fritters in the nude

Thomas Keller's Apple Fritters

Apple Fritters with Powdered Sugar

Not wanting to feel left out, two old friends also came into the mix.

Portland Creamery Cajeta -- liquid gold, people.

Portland Creamery Cajeta — liquid gold, people.

Pinnacle Ice Wine

Pinnacle Ice Cider — one of the few things we brought back from Montreal.

Then came the ice cream…and all was right in the world.

Apple Fritters and Calvados Ice Cream

Apple Fritters and Calvados Ice Cream

And this (finally!) concludes my Thomas Keller Thanksgiving feast. If you missed the previous posts, check them out below!

It was an epic adventure!

Thomas Keller's cookbooks

7 thoughts on “Cooking like Keller, Part IV: Apple Fritters & Calvados Ice Cream

  1. What a perfect-sounding, and perfectly gorgeous, dessert! I find deep-frying intimidating but you make it sound easy and, since I love all things apple (and caramel), the variety of flavors and textures sound so enticing! That was quite a meal!

    • I hate deep frying because I also find it a bit intimidating. But these little guys were a breeze. And with the apple ice cream and caramel sauce — it was as close to apple cider doughnuts as I got this season! And yes, quite a meal indeed! I’m pretty sure we were eating from sun up to sun down. =)

  2. This dessert looks delicious! I have been to Yountville several times but never able to get a reservation at the French Laundry so am envious of you! I recently made Thomas Keller’s BLT Fried Egg and Cheese sandwich that he created for the movie “Splanglish” – it was yummy!

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