Even though we haven’t been able to host our annual Dutch New Year’s Eve parties since 2019, we still make the main traditional Dutch New Year’s Eve treat: oliebollen! We also make another favourite, apple beignets (kind of like donuts or fritters)! In Dutch: appelbeignets, although in some parts of the Netherlands they call them appelflappen.
I’ve already explained the New Year’s Eve traditions in the Netherlands a few years ago in this post. This time I want to actual tell you how we make these treats! I got these recipes from our friend Anja Sol from Alpenglow B&B in Kimberley, BC and made only a few slight adjustments. Most ingredients were converted from the Dutch metric units to the US imperial units (or they were added). You can use a deep-fryer if you have one with a smooth bottom. Don’t use one with a heat element at the bottom, as the balls and slices will go under first and could get stuck to it. I use a regular pot with a thick bottom. Instead of measuring the temperature (which should be around 350 to 390°F), I know it’s hot enough when a piece of bread (or dough from our mixture) starts to sizzle right away.
I usually make them on the 31st, but they can be made ahead of time, even frozen, and reheated on NYE.
Oliebollen (deep-fried donut balls, appr. 30)
- 500 g flour (appr. 3 3/4 to 4 cups)
- 2.5 tsp instant yeast
- 500 ml lukewarm milk (2 cups)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 250 grams currants and raisins (1.5 cup)
- 1 grated apple
- 3 liters of sunflower or canola oil for deep-frying.
- for more oliebollen multiply everything except the apple and the oil.
Let the currants and raisins soak in lukewarm water, make sure they are dry before they go into the batter. You can also soak them in rum or add artificial flavours (I like almost essence and vanilla) to the water.
Put the flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl, stir in the egg and little by little add lukewarm milk. Stir well with a ladle, make a smooth batter. Mix in the currants, raisins and apple, stir everything well. Cover with a damp clean tea towel and put it in a warm place. Let rise for 45 minutes.
The batter is very sticky when done right! Heat the oil and scoop out the batter with 2 tablespoons, try to get nice balls in a spoon and let them slide into the hot oil. When one side is brown, turn them over and when they are done, drain them in a bowl or on a plate lined with paper towels, then sprinkle with icing sugar.
Apple beignets (deep-fried fritters, appr. 34)
- 6 apples
- sugar and cinnamon to coat the apple slices (I use about 1/2 cup of each)
- 350 g flour (3 cups)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 package vanilla sugar
- 350 ml milk (1.5 cup)
- 1 tsp salt
Peel and core apples with an apple corer, cut into even slices. I aim for 1.4 inch or slightly thicker. Coat each slice in the sugar/cinnamon mix. Make a paste with the flour, baking powder and about half of the milk, then add the rest of the milk, eggs, vanilla sugar and salt, make a smooth batter. Hold the slices with forks and dip them in the batter, drain them a bit and then lower them into the hot oil. When one side is brown, turn them over. When they are done, drain them in a bowl or on a plate lined with paper towels, then sprinkle with icing sugar.