Honey Candied Fruits
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 cups ice water
- 2 large firm Granny Smith apples
- 1 slightly unripe pear
- 2 bananas, firm but ripe
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 6 to 8 cups peanut oil for deep-frying
- HONEY COATING:
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Triple Sec
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
In a bowl, combine the flour and cornstarch. Slowly add the beaten egg and ice water into the flour mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until smooth and evenly combined. Refrigerate batter for 20 minutes.
Peel the apples and pear, cut into eighths, and cut away the cores. Cut each banana crosswise into 6 sections, about 1 inch thick. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fruit to prevent them from turning brown. Arrange the fruit, batter, oil, and caramel ingredients within easy reach. Set out a large bowl of iced water, and a large lightly greased serving platter. Heat a wok or large saucepan, add the oil, and heat to deep-fry temperature, 350 degrees F.
Mix the honey and orange liqueur in a large bowl. Add the fruit slices and mix well to coat each piece. Drop some of the slices in the batter to coat, then lift out and let the excess batter drip away. Deep-fry a few slices at a time until batter crisps to pale golden, about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with pear and banana slices, reheating the oil in between batches. When finished, reheat the oil to 425 degrees F.
Place the 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. Heat slowly, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar dissolves, do not stir. Continue cooking until light golden, brushing down the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in water. When ready, turn off the heat, and add the sesame seeds to the caramel.
Quickly deep-fry all the fruit slices a second time until crisp and golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon, drain briefly on paper towels, then place in the caramel, tossing so the slices are evenly coated. Immediately dip the fruit slices in the bowl of ice water to harden the caramel, and serve immediately.
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