Oliebollen are like an explosive party in your mouth. It’s sweet and savory coming together in a delicious deep-fried blend that makes you want to never eat normal food again.
My first encounter with this donut-like treat was while visiting Joey’s aunt in Den Oever. Together with Tante Tineke, Joey and I explored a small fishing village and local carnival. After a coast guard boat ride, the three of us stumbled upon an oliebollen booth. Joey was super excited because he didn’t think I was going to get a chance to sample one of these special treats.
Oliebollen, literally translated to oil sphere, is essentially a variety of dumpling made by dropping dough into a deep fryer with an ice cream scoop or two spoons. They can either have raisins in the deep-fried batter or be plain. Once cooked oliebollen are dusted with a light coating of white powdered sugar. Traditionally oliebollen are eaten by the Dutch at New Year’s and at funfairs.
I enjoyed oliebollen deliciousness so much that after our trip to the Netherlands I asked Tante Tineke for a recipe. She happily shared the family recipe from Joey’s grandmother’s old cookbook.
It took a little longer than I would have liked but we tried the oliebollen recipe for the first time in the middle of February. After mixing everything together and dropping the batter ball by ball into the hot oil I’m happy to report that this family recipe tastes just as I remember them – fresh off the press in Den Oever. YUMMY!
Cook Time: 2 hours
Servings: 16 oliebollen
Mix the flour, salt, yeast milk and egg making a batter. Remove the peel and chop the apple into small cube-like pieces. Wash and drain the raisins. Add both the chopped-up apple and the raisins to the batter. Cover the bowl with a clean dishcloth and let rise in a relatively warm place for about an hour.
While waiting on the contents of the bowl to rise, prepare for the deep-frying process. Using either a pan half-filled with oil heated on medium or a deep fryer heated between 350ºF (177ºC) to 375ºF (191ºC).
When the batter has risen the appropriate length of time, scoop a spoonful of batter, slightly bigger than a golf ball, into the hot oil. Let the dough balls cook until they begin to float on top of the oil. It will likely take about 3 minutes. Turn the dough balls so that all sides cook evenly and become golden brown.
Oliebollen are fully cooked when a toothpick can be inserted into the fritter and comes out clean. Drain the oil from the oliebollen by patting them on a disposable paper towel.
Bonus Tip: Serve this delicious donut treat with a light dusting of powdered sugar or cinnamon for the authentic Dutch experience!
Have you ever tasted the delectable Dutch oliebollen? Better yet have you ever made your own oliebollen? How did it taste in comparison to the real deal?
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