Oliebollen are Dutch doughnuts traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands and Belgium. One legend states that Berchta (the German goddess and guardian of the beasts) sent out demons to find food among the Germanic tribes in the Netherlands during the 12 Days of Christmas. Those who ate the oliebollen were safe from Berchta’s evil spirits.
- 375ml (1½ cups) milk
- 15ml (1 tbsp) instant dry yeast
- 375g cake flour
- pinch salt
- 15ml (1 tbsp) sugar
- 5ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 50g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- icing sugar, to dust
Heat the milk until just lukewarm and sprinkle over the yeast. Set aside, 5 minutes or until the mixture starts to froth.
Sieve the cake flour into a bowl and add the pinch salt, sugar and ground cinnamon.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg, along with the frothy milk and yeast mixture. Stir until a smooth, doughy batter forms.
Mix in the diced apple and pecan nuts, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to prove (rise) in a warm place until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.
In a deep fat fryer or a deep pot, heat the oil to 180°C (use a sugar thermometer if using a pot) and deep-fry tablespoonfuls of batter until the oliebollen are golden brown and cooked through.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Dust the oliebollen generously with icing sugar while still warm and serve immediately.