Oliebollen (OH-lee-boh-len) are a sort of Dutch donut filled with fruit. It's traditional to make them around Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas Day Dec. 5) and New Years. They're very simple to make, but take about 3 hours of work. Since they are a yeast bread, it's best to eat them cold. They are not overly sweet, so they make a good snack. (I've often had them for breakfast.) They last a long time and will keep in a cool place (i.e. a windowsill). You can fool around with the ingredients a bit but be sure to get the yeast, flour and milk right. The apples are important so they'll stay moist. Note that there are no spices required. Feel free to add cinnamon or anything else appropriate.
2 (large) apples; 500 g / 15 oz. raisins; 250 g / 8 oz. candied fruit; 1 cc / 2 tsp. (for yeast) sugar; 1.5 cc / 4 tsp. yeast; 1 kg / 8 cups flour (all-purpose); 1 l. milk; 2-3 l. deep-frying oil (e.g. sunflower); 200 g / 6 oz. icing sugar
Deep fryer (or a big heavy pot), large bowl, wooden spoon, ice-cream scoop, metal tongs, various measures, sieve, cellophane, paper towels & newspaper
Soak the raisins in luke-warm water.
Mix 2 tsp. sugar in 1 cup warm water (not too hot). Stir in the yeast (in a bowl!). Let stand for exactly 10 minutes.
Chop the apples up into tiny cubes, say 1/4".
Put the flour into a large bowl. Mix in the milk and the yeast solution. (Add milk gradually.) Mix in the apples , the (strained) raisins, and the fruit. Cover the bowl with cellophane and cover with a tea towel. Place in a warm spot and let rise for 1 hour.
After 40 minutes heat the oil to 130 C/270 F (takes 20 minutes).
Hint: Put a piece of orange rind into the oil — when it turns brown, theoil is ready.
When the dough and oil are ready, scoop out the dough with the ice-cream scoop into the oil, 10-12 per batch.
Fry each batch for 15 minutes, turning the balls every 3 minutes.
Let the balls drip out on newspaper covered with paper towels.
Sprinkle the icing sugar on with the sieve.
Eat'em up, yum!
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