Who doesn’t love a Georgia peach? At their peak, these fruits are tender, sweet, juicy, and just heavenly. So how else to carefully preserve and present this deliciousness as a dessert? Why batter and deep fry it, obviously!
I’m not sure why, but I’ve had this odd hankering to deep fry things lately. Somehow, this led to stumbling across a tasty concept: deep fried peaches! As funny as it sounds, this is actually quite a simple preparation that really shows off peaches at their best–warm, tender, and encased in a poofed, light, crisp, sweet, fried exterior. What’s not to love? Diets be damned, its fruit, isn’t it?
Oh, and that photo could use some explanation: once I started deep frying, I just couldn’t stop. So I went for some other fruit I had handy as–and I’m sure I’m alone on this one–I thought the idea of a deep-fried (fruit) salad was hilarious. So above, you’ll see deep-fried peach, banana, cherry, and grape, the former two being much better candidates for deep frying than the latter two.
As delicious as this dessert is, unfortunately, it doesn’t keep very long, so aim to serve this very close to the time you cook it. Otherwise, that warm inside and the crisp, delicious outside will meld into a limp, juicy, soggy (albeit still delicious) mess. Once the peach is exposed to the batter, it just begins to macerate, so its a race against time before it just surrenders all of its sweet juices.
- 4 ripe peaches (1/2 a peach = 1 serving)
- 1.5 cups flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp brandy
- 4 egg whites
- Vegetable oil (enough to cover–have a whole bottle handy)
- For coating the fried batter:
- ground cinnamon
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the salt, flour, and egg yolks. Start mixing and pour in the water slowly followed by the brandy. Let this continue to stir for a minute or two until the batter becomes thick and smooth in appearance. Transfer this to another bowl and set it aside to rest for two hours so that you have ample time to build up your expectations. The reason for this resting time is analogous to when you make crêpe batter.
Now that its closer to frying time, get a pot of water boiling. Slit an X on the bottom of the peaches and place them in the hot water for about 30-60 seconds. Remove, plunge in an ice bath briefly, and now peeling off the skin should be a fairly easy task.
While you do this, fill a sturdy pot with enough oil to cover the peach halves and warm it up to about 350°F (figure around 10 minutes of medium-high heat on the stove top).
With the peaches skinned, cut them in half and discard the pit. I might have lost a peach during the process, ahem.
Now, back to the stand mixer. Beat the egg whites until you get firm peaks. Lighten the batter by mixing in about a quarter of the fluffed egg whites. Then, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites, taking care to only fold as much as is necessary as you don’t want to beat all the air out. The air is where you get the fluffiness for the end result.
With the batter all ready to go, the peaches halved, and the oil hot (drop in a bit of batter to verify its hot–it ought to bubble and ascend right up to the surface quickly), its time to get frying. Plunge a peach half into the batter, ensure its coated all over, and get it right into the oil (taking care not to splash it or burn yourself!). Work in batches, as whenever you deep fry, you want to keep the oil at a steady, hot temperature. Putting in a lot at once will drop the temperature and just lead to sad, soggy batter.
The batter should immediately poof up. After about 45 seconds go by, do your best to turn the peaches over so both sides brown evenly.
After about a minute and a half, its time to fish out the peaches. Let them drain on some paper towel, and when just cool enough to handle and not soaked in oil (but still hot and glistening), roll the peaches in a bit of mixed sugar and cinnamon so as to coat them like a powdered donut.
And now, there’s no time to waste–get to eating these while they’re hot! Enjoy!