Old Recipe for Pear Fritters

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Thursday, August 31, 1911: Went to town this afternoon. Had to get a lunch box. Helped pick the pears. Harriet Seibert was here awhile in the afternoon. She rode her old nag down instead of walking.

Old lunchbox from the early 1900s

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

I wonder what the Muffly’s did with the pears. Maybe they made Pear Fritters. Fritters were popular a hundred years ago.  Here’s an old recipe:

Pear Fritters

4 pears

4 tablespoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons sugar plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

Grated rind of l lemon

2 eggs

½ cup milk

Shortening or lard for frying

Peel, quarter, and core pears.   Sprinkle with lemon juice and 4 tablespoons sugar. Let stand for 1 hour.

In a bowl beat together 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, salt, lemon rind, eggs, and milk. Dip prepared pear quarters in fritter batter. Fry in deep fat until golden. Drain on brown paper or paper towels.

Adapted from recipe in Lowney’s Cook Book (1907)

When I made this recipe I had some left-over batter. I could have coated additional pears–or maybe I should have made only half as much batter.

When frying the pears, flip them very gently. If I wasn’t careful, the batter had a tendency to slip off the pears.

My husband and I really enjoyed eating the pear fritters. We sprinkled a little powdered sugar on them–and they made a wonderful dessert.

6 Responses

  1. Loved the picture of the old lunch box. Delightful.

  2. Just thought I’d pop over to check out your blog and got HOOKED! I LOVE this site! I can’t wait to spread the word over on my blog. This is an absolutely gorgeous site and a very warm sentiment.

    It is so important to share these memories – I’m just feeling privileged to be able to be a part of this experience. Thank you (and thank you to your Grandmother.)

    • Thanks for stopping by and for the nice note. I’m so fortunate that my grandmother kept the diary.

      • It has been an incredible journey. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my grandmother and her times better–and it’s always wonderful to hear when others enjoy this blog. Thanks!

  3. MMM! Your recipe sounds delicious! Did you try them?

    • I’ve tried them now! Your comment motivated me to make them. The diary entry kind of crept up on me–and I was busy and didn’t have any pears–so I didn’t make them before posting the entry, but wanted to try them sometime. I’m glad I made them. If you like fritters, you’ll like these. They are very tasty.

      I’ve added a photo and additional details about making them to the post.

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