For the fritters
- 150g plain flour
- A good pinch of salt
- 330ml lager
- 2 egg whites
- A selection of fresh herbs, leaves and flowers
- Groundnut or sunflower oil for frying
For the wild garlic mayonnaise
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 150ml groundnut oil
- a handful of wild garlic (about 30g)
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- Sea salt and black pepper
First make the mayonnaise. Put the egg yolks, mustard and lemon juice in a food processor and blend briefly. With the machine running, gradually add the oils, pouring them in very slowly at first while the emulsion begins to form. Add the wild garlic and some salt and pepper and continue to blend. Mix in enough water to thin the mayonnaise to a good dipping consistency. Transfer to a bowl and leave in the fridge.
For the batter put the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and add the beer in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly and being sure to knock out any lumps, until you have a smooth, thin paste. Leave this to sit at least half an hour. Just before you begin cooking the fritters, whisk the egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the beer batter.
Heat some groundnut or sunflower oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a moderate heat – a centimetre deep is plenty. Drop a little of the batter in to gauge whether the oil is hot enough to begin frying; the batter should sizzle when it meets the oil and turn golden within about a minute. Then gently dip a few leaves of flowers at a time into the batter, lift out and allow any excess batter to drip off before placing them in the hot oil. Be generous with available space in the pan; a fork is useful for flipping over the fritters. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until both sides are golden, then lift out on to some kitchen paper and season with salt immediately. You can gather the fritters together and flash them in a hot oven for a minute before serving, or eat them as you go along. Serve with mayonnaise for dipping.
From ‘A Year of Recipes From a Farm and Kitchen’ by Fern Verrow available in the shippon.