Sweet of the Week: Apple Fritters at Owen & Engine
Pumpkin spice and pie get all the attention this time of year, but apple fritters are equally deserving of iconic fall dessert status. With apple orchards reaching their apex, few confections personify the bounty quite like freshly fried fruit fritters. Nowadays, fritters abound at orchards and bakeries, but it's always nice to see a restaurant put a contemporary spin on the humble tradition. Such is the case at Owen & Engine, a British-accented restaurant and bar that never fails to innovate. The dessert selection, here dubbed "puddings," is probably the craftiest portion of the entire menu, each hifalutin dish brimming with creativity, seasonal flavors, and impressive technique. The sheep's milk apple fritters currently on the roster are a prime example.
The plump fritters come three to a plate, each one tender and pleasantly doughy. Seeing as the batter is studded with apple morsels and sheep's milk, the doughnuts take on a creamy, juicy quality higher on moisture content than most fritters. But rather than let these fritters rest on their laurels, the pastry kitchen gets inventive with a whole slew of accompaniments. Caramel adds a rich salty sweetness, while a balsamic reduction accentuates the intense, dark fruitiness of the plate. There's also a smattering of cheddar-caramel corn, playing off that classic cheddar-apple flavor combo, and the dish is finished off with a spoonful of buttery popcorn ice cream.