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. 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.
My first encounter with this doughnut 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.
Traditionally oliebollen are eaten by the Dutch at New Years and at funfairs. Joey was super excited because he didn’t think I was going to get a chance to sample one of these special treats. You can get two types of oliebollen; plain or with raisins. We all ordered our oliebollen with raisins. I enjoyed this deep fried deliciousness so much that I asked Tineke for her recipe. She happily shared the family recipe from Oma Nel (Joey’s grandmothers) old cookbook.
Joey and I tried the oliebollen recipe for the first time in the middle of February at my parents house. After mixing everything together and dropping it ball by ball into the hot oil I’m happy to say that the recipe tastes just as I remember them.
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 dish cloth 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), 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 doughnut treat with a light dusting of powdered sugar or cinnamon for the authentic dutch experience!
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