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Peking Candied Apples: Date Added: 11 Nov 2009
Listed in: Chinese / Chinese - Desserts


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg -- lightly beaten
3/4 cup water - (about)
2 Granny Smith or other firm green apples
Juice of 1 small lemon


1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds
Peanut or corn oil -- for frying

Cooking Instructions

To make the batter, in a bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the egg and 3/4 cup water, adding more water if needed to achieve the consistency of a thick pancake batter.

Peel, halve and core the apples, then cut each into 8 wedges. Place in a bowl and immediately toss with the lemon juice. Set aside.

To make the sugar syrup, in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. When the sugar has dissolved, raise the heat to high and boil without stirring. Continue boiling until the mixture changes from large, thick bubbles to a smooth, golden brown syrup-like consistency, 8 to 10 minutes.

This is the hard-crack stage (300 to 310 degrees). To test the sugar syrup, using a small spoon, scoop up a small amount of syrup and drop it into the ice water. It should harden instantly. At this point, the syrup could easily burn, so lower the heat or set the pan in a bowl of ice-cold water to cool it quickly; keep warm while you make the fritters. Stir in the sesame seeds.

Preheat a deep saucepan or wok over medium-high heat. Pour in oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches. Heat to 375 degrees. Oil a serving platter. Fill a deep serving bowl with ice cubes and add water to cover. Set the platter and bowl aside.

When ready to serve, slip the apple wedges into the batter to coat each wedge completely. Using long chopsticks or a slotted spoon, lift out the apple wedges one at a time, allowing the excess batter to drip off into the bowl, and carefully lower into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan; the wedges must float freely.

Deep-fry, keeping the wedges separated and turning often, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the wedges to paper towels to drain. When all of the wedges have been fried, dip a few of them in the syrup. Turn them with oiled tongs or chopsticks to coat completely with the syrup. Then remove the wedges and set them on the oiled platter, keeping them separate. Repeat with the remaining wedges.

To serve, bring the platter of caramelized apples and the serving bowl of ice water to the table. Pour the caramelized apple wedges into the ice water. Using chopsticks or a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the hard candied apples from the water to a serving dish. Serve at once.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

Comments: Although this is not a traditional "hawker" dessert, a candied apple stand fits perfectly into the concept of Asian fast food. Being well organized is the key to the success of this dish. For a memorable presentation, candy the apples at the table in front of your guests.


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