We were probably a day late, but we got them made and they were sure tasty. Yup… we made our olliebolen this afternoon, having missed the window on New Years Eve when our house was packed full of families and kids and the awesome mix of sleep deprivation, alcohol and hot oil may have made for a great story when the theoretical third degree burns healed.
“Oliebollen are a variety of dumpling made by using an ice-scooper or two spoons to scoop a certain amount of dough and dropping the dough into a deep fryer filled with hot oil. In this way, a sphere-shaped oliebol emerges. Oliebollen are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve.” (Wikipedia)
A New Years tradition when I was growing up always seemed to be linked in one way or another to the cooking of some good old fashioned Olliebolen. This is a recipe that came down from my grandmother (and probably further back than that) and my dad used to concoct these little fritter-like doughnut-things for our ringing-in-midnight celebrations. For the last couple New Years I’ve been working on perfecting my own technique with the once-per-year craft.
Usually — or when I’ve managed to find the time and inclination to do this — this has entailed a messy procedure involving boiling oils and runny batters. And usually, we don’t actually get around to doing this on New Years EVE… but who’s counting, anyhow?
As a wee bit of her heritage –or so I’m claiming– I enlisted the services of my little chef-in-the-making to fire up the mid-afternoon construction of our 2014 attempt at some old fashioned Dutch-style “oil balls.”
She was mostly unimpressed… but that might have had something to do with staying up five hours past her bedtime last night and then NOT sleeping in. Can anyone say “grumpy?”
The Revised Method
We don’t own a deep fryer. Whaaaaaaaa? You say.
No really. I think this is probably one of the only times we’d make use of it. That, and maybe a sloppy attempt at deep frying chocolate bars like at the fair (which would likely go horribly wrong and not be repeated… but I digress.)
My batter at the ready, I’ve found that while the results tend to be slightly less ball-shaped, and the “bolen” part of “olliebolen” might dictate, the resulting fritters don’t particularly suffer in quality or in taste by having been shallow-fried in about a centimeter of oil rather than a roiling, danger-filled vat.
Of course, at the end of a spitting-spattering deep-ish frying bit of family fun, we sprinkled the cooling bolen with some icing sugar and munched down.
Claire was skeptical, nibbling at the corner of her first for a couple minutes, reluctant to indulge despite her participation in their creation and my long-winded prelude story as I cooked.
But then… a big bite. And she was hooked.