Chef Virginia Willis' Deep Fried Georgia Peaches
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature,
- 2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
- 4 ripe Pearson peaches
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- Peanut oil, for frying
- 1 cup sugar
- Vanilla Ice Cream, for serving
Combine flour & salt in large bowl. Form a well & stir in oil & egg yolks, then 3/4 cup very cold water little by little until flour is incorporated. Add brandy & stir for 10 minutes until batter is smooth & a bit thicker. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water; set aside. Bring medium pot of water to boil over high heat. Using a paring knife, score the bottom of the peach with a small “X”. Add peaches to boiling water & leave for 5-10 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon & add to bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Remove skin, split the peaches, discarding the pits. Place halves in small bowl. Drizzle lemon juice over & toss to coat to prevent browning.
In the bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whisk egg whites with pinch of salt until foamy. Increase speed to high & beat until stiff, about 3 minutes.
Add about a quarter of the beaten egg whites to peach batter mixture & stir until well mixed. Pour mixture over the remaining whites & fold together as lightly as possible.
Line a plate with paper towels & place the sugar in a shallow plate; set both aside. Heat the oil to a depth of 3 inches in large deep pot or deep fryer to 360°. Working with 2 to 3 halves at a time, dip peaches in batter, & fry until golden brown, 30 to 90 seconds per side. (Don't put all the peaches in at once or the oil temperature will drop too much.) Remove to the plate lined with paper towels then quickly roll them in sugar to coat completely. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.
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