Sunday, August 28, 2005

IMBB #18: Oliebollen


My first entry to the popular and much-loved food blogging event, Is My Blog Burning...hooray! This month's IMBB is hosted by Linda of At Our Table and is entitled "Summer's Flying, Let's Get Frying".

When I heard that frying was the theme for this month's Is My Blog Burning, I thought "Perfect!" because it just so happens that I have been dying to try out a recipe that dealt with just that. This particular snack is something for which I have had an unrequited craving for over a year, but due to said food item being on another continent, I had no way of satifying this craving unless I finally pulled my sleeves up and made it myself. What better way for me to attempt my maiden IMBB entry than with something I love to bits...Oliebollen!

First, a little background on my love for Oliebollen: A year or so ago, I was based in The Netherlands for around 3 months, for a job I was doing. I enjoyed my stay immensely and during that time discovered quite a few foodie items that I fell in love with -- raw herring with onions, Dutch pancakes with stroop, and Oliebollen. When Christmas time drew near, a wonderful stall with GEBAK (pastries) spelled out in lights appeared in the Dam Square (along with a giant Christmas tree and and ice skating rink...wahoo!), very near where I lived. The stall was filled with yummy delights and this is where I met, and was subsequently enamored by, Oliebollen. Oliebollen are Dutch fritters, usually filled with apples and raisins, kind of like a beignet. The stall sold different varieties but my favorite were the plain ones, just dusted with powdered sugar. When that stall set up shop, I must have eaten one (or more!) every single day. This was basically a deep fried ball of dough, but calories or cholesterol be damned, I was in love and no one was going to stop me!


Then one day, after the holidays, the stall and the oliebollen disappeared. I had no idea where they went. I searched high and low but never found them again. I learned later on that oliebollen is traditionally made during the holidays...but as I left The Ntherlands before the next holiday-time rolled around, I never had them again.

Fast forward to the present time. I am back home in my little piece of the tropics and start my fledgling food blog. A post I write which mentions stroop earns a comment from a lovely Dutch girl. When I mention other Dutch treats I sorely miss (oliebollen obviously being one of them) she generously shares her recipe. Have the fates conspired to reunite me with my beloved oliebollen?

You can find the recipe here. As I wanted to recreate my "plain" oliebollen, I made the following changes:

- I didn’t add the cinnamon to the dry ingredients at first.
- After my batter/dough was ready, before letting it rise, I halved it in two. One part I kept plain, and to the other I added: ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 50 grams raisin, and half of the apple chunks.
- I omitted the currants as you can’t really find them here.

This way, half my batch was plain and the other half had the traditional raisins and apple. I cannot even begin to describe my anticipation as I watched the soft balls of batter turn a lovely golden brown in the hot oil.

Finally they were done! I sprinkled powdered sugar generously on them and leaned in for a big bite, barely waiting for them to cool off a bit. BLISS! They were just as I remembered...soft, chewy, and tasty, with just the right amount of crisp on the outside. The apples and raisin are the perfect fruit pairings I think for this kind of fritter...but I still love the plain ones best. So there I was, lost in a good-food-funk and delicious memories...you can be sure that I won't be waiting for any kind of holiday before making this again!

41 comments:

Mona said...

Those look delicious..how do you even pronounce what they're called?

Paz said...

Hi there!

I'm excited about your blog on Oliebollen. A few years ago, my friend from the Netherlands told me about it and how it was made around the holidays.

I was always interested in tasting it. I found a recipe, but at the time, I wasn't into cooking and never got around to trying out the recipe. Now, I don't know where the recipe is.

I'm going to try your recipe. Your photo of the oliebollen looks delicious!

BTW, I've tagged you for the childhood food memories meme here:

http://thecookingadventuresofchefpaz.blogspot.com/2005/08/my-first-meme-childhood-food-memories.html

I hope you can participate in it.

Best,
Paz

Paz said...

Hmmm... I'm not sure if the link came through, so here it is again. Sorry about that:

http://thecookingadventuresofchefpaz.
blogspot.com/2005/08/
my-first-meme-childhood-
food-memories.html

or you can go here:
http://thecookingadventuresofchefpaz.
blogspot.com/

Paz

P.S. Mona li, I love your photo!

boo_licious said...

Yummy, I can imagine that apples and raisins will be nice. I have never heard of olliebollen, thanks for sharing it with us.

J said...

hi joey, what lovely looking oliebollen you made - am sure they are as scrumptious as they look...

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mona li! I actually don't know how to pronounce it...hahaha! We used to say "Oily-ballen" because they were cooked in oil (and we though we were so clever) but I am sure that's totally off-base :-)

Hi Paz! Glad to be of service and it's good to hear that this recipe once again made its way to someone who needs it :-) Oooh, another meme...ok, I'll be cranking up my memory-cells and post the reply soon! :-)

Hi Boo_licious! You're very welcome :-) I would never have heard of it either if I hadn't been in Amsterdam around holiday time...thank goodness for serendipity :-)

Hi J! Thanks for your nice words! Always nice to hear from you :-)

Midge said...

Hi, Joey. Apple-raisin fritters are a treat by my book in any language! ^_^

Lori said...

Oy! These look terrific. Isn't it amazing how we can recreate foods that we've tasted from other countries? :) You've saved yourself a plane ticket.

scanns said...

hi joey, thanks for dropping by my blog! Nice to meet you! Sarap ng "oliebollen" (what does the word mean?)! I also enjoyed your LP entry, yellow ribbon turon w/my fave chocolates, so yummy & resourceful! Lots of memories for one who was locked in the house! :) God bless! See ya!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Midge! Hehe, yup, actually I think lots of places have their own versions of these "fried dough" delicacies...

Hi Lori! Thanks! Yes, believe me, that saved plane ticket was one of the things that were on my mind while making these :-)

Hi there Scanns! Thanks for dropping by! Oliebollen is how the Dutch refer to doughnuts and actually means "oily balls" (so my initial reference to them as oily balls is right after all!). This was derived from Oliekoeke which means "oil cake". Glad you enjoyed my LP entry too :-)

dexiejane said...

this would go so nicely to Sassy's latest post, which happens to be coffee..hehe. i wish i could just reach my hand inside the monitor and have one, or two :)

babe_kl said...

joey, you've a great blog here. this recipe sounds easy and yummy!

ac said...

ooh joey, you've got my saliva glands working overtime with your Oliebollen fruit fritters ;) can you send some over to KL, Malaysia? (heehee)

Good job on IMBB:18 and hope to see you in the next edition! Thanks for dropping by my blog too. Mabuhai!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Dexie! Wish I could send some over but you gotta have them fresh out of the fryer :-) Saw Sassy's coffee post...good news for me! Thanks for the heads up...

Thanks so much for such a nice comment about my blog Babe_kl! It was quite easy although the batter did "fight" a bit...I guess that's because I mixed it by hand instead of using the dough hook on my mixer, hehe :-)

Hi ac! Thanks all for your nice words! Wish I could send some over but like I told dexie, they are at their prime right out of the fryer, hehe :-) Thanks for stopping by!

Gia-Gina said...

Thanks for your comments on my blog, I love apple fritters, add raisens and who would not. I miss the Filipino banana donuts I used to get in Guam though. And I miss sapin sapin, can you make that!!!

Nupur said...

oh yummm...that looks so good! The addition of apple chunks is such a great idea...thanks for sharing so much about Dutch food!

angelika said...

Hi there, thank you for sharing and for the nice story. I would loved to bite into them as well, they so delicious... take care angelika

Pille said...

Mmm - Oliebollen. As it happens, it looks like I'll be visiting Amsterdam couple of times during the next few months. I better go and try them on the street first. And should I like them, then I know where to look for the recipe!

ChichaJo said...

Hi gia-gina! Are those banana donuts maruya? I love those too! I love sapin-sapin too but unfortunately I don't have a recipe so have never made them...but there's a thought for a future post! :-)

Hi Nupur! Thanks and I'm glad you enjoyed this post :-) I had a wonderful time in The Netherlands and am happy to share the memories...

Thanks Angelika! Glad you liked my story...and I'm glad it had a happy ending (or else I'd still be sad and craving!) :-)

Hi Pille! You lucky thing! I'm so jealous! Hope you can find them :-) I also love the raw herring with onions (also sold on the streets), but I've been told not everyone takes to the taste...

Pille said...

I can tell you now for sure that I will NOT eat any of that raw herring with onions:) Although popular in Estonia, herring and I don't like each other. I spent a year as an exchange student in Denmark over a decade ago, and every dinner party I attended had herring as a first course- and I always had to wait until the main course before eating. There's something about the smell that just annoys me:(

ChichaJo said...

So that's why my colleagues in Amsterdam stayed away from me when I ate them! Thanks for shedding light on this Pille ;)

Bakingfreak said...

Hi,
I'm soo glad i could make you happy with the recipe.
I never posted many recipes, because i did not feel like i needed to, but you inspired me to post some more.

haha. I bet you know more about dutch food than many dutchies do.

You're oliebollen look delicious!!! Even though it is August, and unthinkable to eat them right now (for me it is winterfood) they look awesome, and i wish i could taste them

ChichaJo said...

Hi Bakingfreak! Thank you so so much for this recipe! I feared I would never taste my beloved oliebollen again! You made my day :-) I am very very happy and sated :-)

And thanks for your kind words...nice to know a "local" thinks they look good :-)

Please do keep posting recipes!

Linda said...

What a great recipe! These look so good. Thanks very much for participating in this month's IMBB.

Barbara said...

I love oliebollen. And I've only had them twice in my entire life. I first had them when a Dutch woman bought them to my childrens kindergarten Christmas party years ago. Another party years later a friends Dutch neighbour brought them to a house warming party. I've resisted the urge to make them as I can't stop at one!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Linda! Thanks for dropping by :-) I enjoyed my first IMBB immensely! Thanks for picking out a great theme :-)

Hi Barbara! I can really relate! And boy, as soon as these were ready I definitely did not stop at one! I think I had 4...

Catesa said...

wauw, olibollen in august! never thought i would see the day :)

Catesa said...

hmmm maybe we should start a movement called OLIEBOLLEN IN AUGUSTUS and give them to everyone who craves it outside of new years :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Catesa! Hehe, yeah, that's what you get when you have one crazy foreigner with a craving ;)

Engel said...

OH-lee-BOH-lin, I love them with pineapple, hot from the fryer, on a cold St.Nick with two more Cadeau's to get, walking down the cobbled streets in Leeuwarden.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Engel! Thanks for dropping by :) What a nice picture you paint...I can imagine it now...

Anonymous said...

Hello all and a big seasons greeting from Hot Brisbane australia.

thanks for the Oliebollen. i lost our family copy and i have been hit up for cooking more this yr. the best way to pronounce the word is ... Ol-lee-bol-lin. Ol(said like old but with out the d)-lee-bol (said like bowl but with out the w)-len

take care

ChichaJo said...

Hello there anonymous reader for Hot Brisbane Australia! :) Glad I could help and thanks for the heads up on the pronunciation! :)

Petertje V said...

Well reading your story I got a little "homesick" thinking about the Oliebollen Stands in Rotterdam where I grew up and usually bought one during lunchbreak at school during Christmas time. As I am typing this, the batter is rising in the kitchen and getting ready for "oudejaars avond" newyears eve.Thanks! And a happy 2006

ChichaJo said...

Hi there Petertje v! Thanks for stopping by :) I fell in love with Oliebollen in Amsterdam...I remember buying them in the Dam Square, a little ball of yummy warmth that comforted me in the cold weather :) Thanks for sharing your memories :)

babzy said...

Hey thanks for the information. My husband and I usually go to amserdam for Chritmas holidays, from the UK. We are now living in Vancouver Canada, and I have been craving Oliebolln for the past few days.

Thanks for the recipie. Likewise the plain ones are also my fav's.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Babzy! Thanks for dropping by and glad to be of help :) I SO know how you feel!

Anonymous said...

Loved reading your blog on Olliebollen. I'm of Dutch heritage and lived for a while in Heerlen, Limburg.
As a child I looked forward to New Year's, just for the Olliebollen.
Haven't made them in years because like someone else posted, you can't stop at eating just one!(I also miss the patat friet met mayonnaise) french fries with mayonnaise and croquette that were sold as street food.
I have a excellent recipe for olliebollen too. If you'd like me to share it, let me know.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anonymous person! :) Thanks for stopping by and for your nice comment! I enjoyed so many things about the Netherlands...oliebollen being one of them...and fries with mayo being another (along with herring and croquettes too)! I'd love to have your recipe...you can email me at eighty_breakfasts@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Here's my recipe. After posting, I was compelled to make them and we had no problem finishing them off that evening. lol

Oliebollen

1 cup milk
1 TB. sugar
2 TB. unsalted butter
½ tsp. salt
1 package dry yeast
½ cup warm water
1 egg slightly beaten
3 cups flour
2 cups chopped, tart apple
¾ cup dried currants or raisins
oil for deep frying
powdered sugar

Heat milk, sugar, butter and salt just until warm. Dissolve yeast in warm water and add milk mixture, egg, and 1½ cups flour. Beat until smooth.

Stir in apples, raisins and add remaining flour to form a soft dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Drop tablespoon by tablespoon, a few at a time, into oil that has been heated to 375 degrees. Fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Drain on paper towels and dust with powdered sugar.

Yield: about 30 oliebollen

Source: Christmas in the Netherlands from World Book

Hope you enjoy this recipe.

Wende aka Anonymous

ChichaJo said...

Thanks so much for sharing your recipe Wende! I love Oliebollen and am still so thrilled that I can now have them even if I'm an ocean away :)