Friday, September 18, 2009

Oliebollen - Dutch Deliciousness


This is a family recipe, as my family is from The Netherlands. I have grown up with these lovely balls of deliciousness, almost like a doughnut, but without the hole, dusted with a generous amount of icing sugar and served toasty warm.

I like the version with a little slice of apple inside, which can allow you to feel slightly healthy, but really I think it is just a delicious combination of flavours. Others prefer them with raisins (which I detest with a passion), and others still prefer theirs plain.

Traditionally these are served on New Years Eve (although you can enjoy them all year around, if you keep it on the downlow). My mother told me how the entire house was requested to tiptoe carefully around and not speak too loudly for at least 6 hours when my grandmother used to cook these many years ago... so as not to upset the olieballen and have them not rise properly. This resulted in my mother being too scared to cook them for many years, however we did make them not that long ago, and it was a huge success, although the house was strangely quite for a couple of hours and I was requested not to close the doors too loudly...

You will need:
  • 1 kg flour
  • 50 gm of compressed yeast or 3 sachets of 7gm dry yeast
  • 950 ml warm (not hot) milk
  • 1 rind of lemon zest (finely grated)
  • 3 granny smith apples
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
Mix the dry ingredients together and then add the milk and the chopped apples. Mix with your hands. The consistency should not be too stiff.

Cover the bowl/container with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for a couple of hours.

When the mixture has risen, heat some oil (enough to submerge the oliebollen into) to about 180 degrees celsius and start frying amounts in the oil - it is up to you if you want little oliebollen or slightly larger ones - about a tablespoon full at least.

The oliebollen should rise to the surface when ready, and they should also flip over quite cutely by themselves, but if not, just turn them over.


Once cooked, pop onto a plate with some paper towelling to remove access oil.


Then serve sprinkled with icing sugar, or even cinnamon sugar if you prefer. And for a little Aussie twist, have it with some golden syrup! (First tried by my mothers partner one night, and it tasted very very nice. After we had gotten over the shock of course!)

Enjoy and eat many! They are too delicious just to have one or two of.

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