Monday, October 24, 2011

Lemon Fritter-sticks and Nutmeg Pudding

It takes me a lot of time and hard work to maintain my 'geek' street cred.  Take, for instance, what I spent my summer doing (when not traveling): watching the entire rebooted series of Doctor Who, beginning to end.  I felt that it was my duty and obligation as a self-proclaimed, card-carrying geek to fill myself in on the cultural phenomenon that is the Doctor.  (that, and Star Trek: Deep Space 9 hadn't been released on Netflix on-demand yet.)  And I have to say, Doctor Who. is. awesome.

The one sad part about the show is that it doesn't seem to be quite as ubiquitous here as in the UK, so it's difficult to find people who "get" the Doctor Who references that I drop.  Laughing silently with yourself is just not the same.  So imagine my surprise and delight when my Doctor knowledge actually came in handy one day in class, of all places!  [warning: geeky story starts here]  One guy in class was joking around about true 'universal' statements in language, having come up with the seeming universal "All language must occur in time." (Backstory: universal statements about languages are really hard to prove and are constantly being debunked.  For instance, think all languages have numbers?  Some linguists have claimed that certain languages don't have numbers like we do, only concepts like "one, a few, many.")  From across the room, a girl in the class suddenly shouts, "Not the Doctor's language!  If he occupies the same point in time twice, then his language is occurring out of time!"  Now, it will immediately occur to all of you detail-oriented Doctor fans that this statement is blatantly untrue, because the Doctor cannot cross his own timeline, a fact which I quickly pointed out to the class.  Finally, in a coup de grâce, my friend in class leaned over and made a time-traveling and theoretical phonology joke that is just far too geeky to print on this blog.  #win.

So it seems that I am slowly discovering a hidden world of Doctor fans around me.  In reporting this incident on my facebook wall, I proceeded to learn that one of my advisors is an even bigger (and detail-oriented) Doctor fan that I am.  ... Here's a mystery of the universe for you: why is it that your advisors are always better than you at everything??? (And please don't say it's because they're doctors....!)

[click photo for larger image]

In my Doctor Who-craze, I really wanted to be a character out of the show for Halloween.  If I had the means and time, my first choice would be a Weeping Angel, because they are some of the awesomest and scariest villains on the show.  But, in lieu of a costume since I won't have much time this year, I thought I would dress my dessert up as something Doctor Who -inspired: fritter-sticks and pudding, a reference to the favorite (and disgusting) fishsticks and pudding combination of the latest Doctor incarnate.  This non-savory version is much, much more appetizing than fish and sweet pudding--I assure you--, consisting of lemon yogurt fritters and vanilla nutmeg baked custard: subtle spices of nutmeg and vanilla in the smooth cream, and a sweet tang of lemon in the deep-fried dough.  Eat it as the Doctor does: dipping the fresh, sugar-coated fritters into the pudding!

Even if you aren't a Doctor Who fan, or you have now decided to stop reading this blog because I have betrayed how much of a geek I am, at least try this recipe before you go.  No geek street cred required!

P.S. Favorite Doctor moments?  Share below!  Here's mine.
P.P.S. Also, my how lucky that I happen to have a Tardis-blue table on hand! :)

Read on for recipes....

"Fritter-sticks and Pudding"

Lemon-Yog(h)urt Fritters
makes 15-20 four-inch fritters

oil for frying
2 cups (296 gr) AP flour
1 tspn baking powder
zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated
3/4 cup (150 gr) sugar, and more for rolling
2 eggs
3/4 cup (188 gr) whole fat plain yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
1 tspn vanilla extract

1. Heat the oil until 375 degrees F.
2. Meanwhile, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and 3/4 cup sugar.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
4. Stir to combine the wet and dry ingredients. The batter will be thick.
5. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe 4-inch long pieces into the hot oil, a few at a time. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until the outsides are deep golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on a wire rack.
6. Once they have cooled briefly, roll the fritters in sugar.

Vanilla-Nutmeg Custard
makes four 8-oz. servings

2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup (67 gr) sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 tspn grated nutmeg, and more for serving
1 vanilla bean

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare four 8-oz. ramekins in a hot water bath.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar. Set aside.
3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream and grated nutmeg. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the cream. Add the pod as well. Bring the cream to a simmer.
4. Remove the vanilla pod. Temper the egg yolks by slowly pouring the heated cream into the yolks, whisking the entire time.
5. Divide the custard between the ramekins. Cover with aluminum foil.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are set but the custard still jiggles when gently moved. Remove from the oven, remove from the water bath, and let cool. Sprinkle with more grated nutmeg before serving warm or cold.

Fritter recipe loosely adapted from Tartelette.
Custard recipe loosely adapted from Donna Hay.



  1. Oh haha this is great. I am not a Doctor Who fan (gasp) but I can definitely appreciate good timing and great comebacks! I sadly don't have time to watch Doctor Who thoroughly but it must be good if there are so many fans out there!

  2. Okay, I confess, not a Doctor Who fan, but then again, I have not had the chance to really explore that. So maybe there is a fan lurking? Either way, I'm a HUGE fan of these fritters and custard. I think to eat together would be otherworldly!

  3. Haha I've never watched the Doctor much myself but I have a lot of obsessed friends. We had a 'cult classics' fancy dress party a few months ago and had a weeping angel and a Davros (which was insanely dedicated - in fact I'll email you a picture in a moment). Geeks for the win.  

    Fritters and nutmeg custard sound truly amazing. 

  4. we love the Doctor in this household (that link totally sucked me in & I watched at least four clips before I tore myself away), but I can't pick a favourite moment!

  5. OH MY GOD I LOVE DOCTOR WHO!!! I've been trying to get my friends to watch it lately, but they haven't been interested.  However, I recently convinced them to sit through Blink (because those angels ARE creepy and it suits the season), which was incredibly exciting for me. 

    ...Unfortunately they weren't so into it ;)

    The references in this post are SO good.  I love when geeky stuff comes in handy :D

  6. the lemon fritter sticks would be gone in a heartbeat in this house...and only one of us would be eating :)

  7. OMG. One look at your picture, without reading a word, and I thought "cool! that reminds me a lot of fish fingers and custard!" How fortuitous that this has come up! My Doctor Who-loving kids (and husband) will be impressed that my food blogging invisible friends are Whovians also. Will definitely be trying this very soon. Thank you Stephanie! This is wayyyy better than the fish sticks and custard I created:

  8. Best. Post. In all of time and space. Absolutely brilliant!

  9. Doctor Who themed dessert, YAY! 

    I have to say though that sometimes the Doctor can and does cross his own timeline ... whether he can or can't, it all totally depends on the needs of a particular plot. ;) 

    Now you need to watch Classic Doctor Who! 

  10. OMG! Those fritters look soooooo good! Definitely putting them (AND the custard) on my "to make" list.

  11. Beautiful photos, I love them, Stephanie! 

  12. Paha! this is brilliant...I was wondering what the relevance of DW was to the pudding, then my slow realisation dawned. Excellent. Made my evening xXx

  13. goodness gracious girl... you are killing me...sloooowly with these...

    I LOVE how you had a Doctor Who moment in class!

    Thanks for the recipe, I'll definitely have to give it a go :)

  15. oh my, those lemon fritters and the nutmeg pudding look truly scrumptious.
    I do remember how much you love halloween - wish I could be there to eat your desserts and hear your annual reading of the raven!

  16. I absolutely love love love Doctor Who. Dragged my boyfriend into it. My fav moment (breaks my heart) is 4x13 journey's End. Heartbreaking but I love watching it.

  17. This post makes me so happy. Geek on, fellow Doctor Who fan. Geek on.
    I love the food scene personally. And stay out! I can't really pick a clip, but some off my favorite episodes are Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead and Turn Left.

  18. I love your Dr. Who comments, but when you put a "geek warning" before your Dr Who story, it got me thinking. Do you think that nerd/geek culture is kind of mainstream these days? I used to have to hide my devotion to Star Trek:TNG, but these days it's so easy to meet people who are just as devoted to anything science fiction/fantasy-related (and confess that they've been to a Star Trek convention or two). My theory is that if a work has great storytelling, people will be interested and give it a chance, even if the genre is a little peculiar to them. This article that I read a few months ago is what jumpstarted this question for me: 

    I haven't checked out Dr. Who yet, but based on your enthusiasm, I'll check it out. But maybe after Battlestar Galactica :P

  19.  I watched all the Weeping Angel clips I could find AND the one about Fish Custard. He's so cute.

  20. I love that you're a Doctor Who fan!!  My husband and I started watching the new series this year and just love it.  We miss David Tennant, though... :(  I think I'd want to dress up as River Song, somehow, if I were going to do that for Halloween.
    LOVED the episode, Blink, so brilliant.  Thanks for your blog!  Looks amazing!

  21. I've seen some of Dr. Who but only one or two seasons. I loved it. Anyway, I had never heard of Weeping Angels so I had to look it up. Check out this awesome costume someone made.

  22. Ah yes! Love River Song.  I was once asked who my favorite Doctor was, and I had to say River. :) Of course, I think David Tennant comes in a close second, as much as I like Matt Smith.

  23. You need to watch the whole episode Blink! 

  24. Love that you created a Doctor Who dessert!  The fritters look amazing!  David Tennant is by far my favorite Doctor.  I loved the relationship between him and Donna.  Check this clip from the Catherine Tate Show...Hysterical! 

  25. Hail to the Geeks! Personally I tend to scare people of with my "geeky" love for nature´s finest.. Whole foods, Raw Foods, Flowers, Grass.. You name it - I have a passionate relationship to it. Well that´s me;) Awesome post, I am so glad I found your blog!<3

  26. I've only see a couple of Dr. Who episodes but recently saw this on Facebook - a poster for Dr. Who fans - enjoy!
    - Kate

  27. Amanda : Grace & GustoOctober 27, 2011 at 6:44 AM

    Not only do these recipes look amazing, but I am so pleased to find another proud geek! While I have yet to watch Doctor Who, I am currently obsessed with the original Star Trek. I'm also a total video game nut. Huzzahh for unapologetic geekness!

  28. This looks glorious, the perfect combo of chewy/sugary + creamy! And since I've been making a lot of pudding lately, and this will definitely satisfy the pudding urge!
    Also, have you seen this weeping angel costume:
    I can't really take credit for finding it, a good friend is a big Doctor fan, BUT I do agree it's pretty awesome!

  29. It's funny, my fiance and I were talking about Doctor Who the other night, and reliving our memories from when we were children watching.  My biggest memory is how the Daleks used to give me nightmares!  But that didn't stop me watching the show!!

    Your lemon fritters sound amazing!!! I'm on a real lemon kick at the moment and am absolutely obsessed with anything lemon.  I'm bookmarking this to try :D Thank you for sharing!

  30. such a gorgeous post miss shih :) Lovely colors, inspired me for sure! Dont be surprised if you see navy/yellow combo in some of my images! hahaha 

  31. Joyce! I wish you could be here, too! Lately the big parties have given way to smaller dinners, but thank you for reminding me that I should most definitely do a reading of the Raven. :)

  32. I have totally seen that clip--it is HILARIOUS.

  33. That weeping angels costume is IN-SANE.

  34. Oh, how I enjoyed reading this post! I'm also a huge Doctor Who fan, and find it tends to get funny looks among friends and workmates (especially as it's the only remotely sci-fi thing that doesn't send me to sleep...). And I loved the Tardis-blue styling, too. The idea of doing a play on the fish fingers and custard, though, was just inspired! Now, I'm thinking about needing some "sweeties" inspired by River Song...

  35. Just discovered your blog and im already drooling! Plus im an avid dr who fan! I just love it, luckily for me my friends boyfriend is also a mega fan so we can geek out together from time to time! My fave moment is in the girl in the fireplace episode when the dr rides a white horse through a giant mirror to save the day! Swoon...x

  36. I love your photography! It's so beautiful! These lemon fritters sound and look amazing!

  37. DOUGHNUTS are my world!  And, what a pairing - with nutmeg pudding.  This place in Brooklyn makes lemon filled doughnuts and I get them way too frequently - definitely one of the best
    places to eat in New York
    .  Thank you for sharing this!  :)


I love hearing from you and reading your comments! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. Happy feasting!