On Labor Day, we rose well before the sun and packed ourselves and Neva into the car to beat the holiday mass exodus from the mountains east to the Front Range. We were home before noon and able to meet with our friends to check a new area that we suspected would be ideal for matsutakes. We were correct. We found a lot of them. When I still have mushrooms in my refrigerator from the past few forays waiting to be cleaned, I become more selective of the mushrooms I’m willing to take home. Many folks look at the mushrooms on the ground and think “more”, but at that point I was looking at the mushrooms on the ground and thinking “more work”. I have loads of mushrooms squirreled away in my freezer and in my cupboards. The forests had been very good to us this year. I was ready to call it a season, because I was tired.
sunrise out of gunnison
jeremy cleans a matsutake
there were so many mushrooms, it made your brain hurt
The haze from far away wildland fires obscured our views of nearby mountains and the smell of smoke hung heavily on the thick, still air around us. By evening as we hiked out from our successful mushroom hunt, the optical depth of the smoke-laden air had increased to LA riot levels and the sun cast an eerie orange glow on the world. It would be several days of keeping ourselves and Neva from participating in our usual outdoor exertions, but the air – while less than ideal – is considerably better now. At some point this past week, I decided that I was ready to move on from mushrooms to my one true love… huckleberries. Huckleberries are a great way to end my foraging season because they don’t have worms, they are easy to process and freeze, and picking them in a squat or crouch for hours on end is getting my body ready for ski season. Win-win-win!
improving air quality and loads of wildflowers in the high country
neva would like some huckleberries, please
sunrise through lingering haze
I know in late summer, my posts go heavy on the foraged mushrooms and huckleberries. And while wild mushrooms and huckleberries infiltrate my dreams on a nightly basis (last night’s dream: I was unearthing a matsutake to give to Jon Snow – go figure), I’m aware of the other treasures Colorado has to offer as the aspen leaves start to turn. Olathe sweet corn has been gracing our dinner table for the past several weeks, and don’t forget those Western Slope peaches. When I get my grubby little hands on some Colorado peaches, I first eat them straight up – because it’s been a year. After my craving has been satisfied, I’ll cook up a batch of jam and start thinking of other ways to prepare them. An easy one is peach fritters.
vanilla, bourbon, powdered sugar, salt, baking powder, sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter, peaches, eggs, buttermilk
dice the peaches
mix the dry ingredients
whisk the butter, eggs, and buttermilk together
If you can make pancakes, you can make fritters. It’s almost like making thick pancake batter and deep frying it instead of cooking on a griddle. If you have a cookie dough scoop, that is a great way to measure your batter AND deliver it to the hot oil without making a mess or hurting yourself. But don’t release the batter into the hot oil from up high – that is a great way to burn yourself. Lower the scoop close to the surface of the oil and slowly turn the scoop upside down while releasing the batter as if gently rolling the batter into the oil.
stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
fold in the peaches
the batter is ready
fried and draining on paper towels
While the fritters are draining, you can whip up the glaze in no time. I put bourbon in the glaze because it’s like a little hit of magic when you bite into a glaze-drizzled fritter. If you can’t do booze or just don’t like bourbon, it’s perfectly fine to substitute milk or water for the bourbon.
adding bourbon to the powdered sugar and vanilla
stir until smooth
glaze the fritters
These golden nuggets of fruity, frittery deliciousness make for a great snack, dessert, breakfast, or brunch. They are best eaten fresh, but are revitalized nicely with five minutes in a 350°F oven. So you could make them ahead (but don’t glaze yet), store them in an air tight container on the counter or refrigerated if your kitchen is too hot, reheat the fritters, and glaze them right before serving. Honestly, I don’t see them lasting very long once they are cool enough to handle.
with little fruity surprises inside
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsps granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup buttermilk or milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 cups peaches, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp bourbon (or milk or water)
1 tsp vanilla
Make the fritters: Heat 2 inches of frying oil in a large pot to 375°F over medium-high heat. Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, granulated sugar, and ground cinnamon together in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk (or milk), and melted butter together. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the peaches. Using a 1/4-cup dough scoop, carefully drop scoopfuls of the batter into the hot oil. When the fritter floats to the top, let it fry for about 2-3 minutes more until golden (flip as needed). I try not to fry more than 5 fritters at a time, so work in batches. Drain the cooked fritters on paper towels. Makes about a dozen fritters.
Make the bourbon glaze: Stir the powdered sugar, bourbon (or milk or water), and vanilla together until smooth. Drizzle over warm fritters and serve.
more goodness from the use real butter archives
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