Apple Fritter Balls, Croatian Pašrate/Fritule a Recipe for Christmas Eve or Anytime

Apples Recipes

When it comes to Christmas Eve, what Badnjak celebration would be complete without Croatian Pašrate, which are fried apple balls made with walnuts, orange rind and may include raisins. They crunch in your mouth. Ideally soft in the middle, they are covered with a powdered sugar topping and are both sweet and grown up, like a fruit and nut Cadberry bar.

Some of the ingredients are bound to surprise you, but that's not important. The main thing is - they are inexpensive and easy to make. Luckily in winter, there is an abundance of apples to be found. Recipes for apples are bountiful but these are real gems.

The apple recipe is also known as Fritule in the Dalmatian dialect, like little fruities. It's true - they contain a little of everything - which is probably the reason why they are sweet and delectable.

And now for the world famous recipe. There are many variations, but this is my favorite...

Queen of Apple Recipes

They are called both fritule and pasrate
They are called both fritule and pasrate | Source

Recipes for Apples, anyone?

Best Winter Fruit - the apple!
Best Winter Fruit - the apple! | Source

Recipe for the Apple Fritter Cookies

In 1/2 liter (about two shallow cups) of milk, cook 1/2 a cup of Cream of Wheat. (Here it is called Gris, like Grease is the word...). In the milk, put 1/2 T. salt and 4 T. sugar. When the milk rises, add the Cream of Wheat and stir vigorously to prevent lumps. In about a minute, the entire pot should look like cement. This is a good thing. Let it cool - you have other things to keep you occupied for awhile....

In a separate bowl, combine 2 eggs, well beaten; 1 T. vanilla or two packets of vanilla sugar, finely ground lemon rind, finely ground orange rind. In 1/4 cup rum, soak two or three T. of raisins, lightly grate a cleaned, cored and peeled fresh apple (may be 1-1/2 apples depending on the size), and about 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts. To this you will add 2 tsp. baking powder, flour (as much as you need to get a nice dough but not too dry) - say about a pound of flour, or it could be less...

Mix well adding the Cream of wheat mixture. The batter should be homogeneous - no differences at all. If it seems to lack sugar, try to hold off. The apple balls fry better with less sugar, and they will be dusted with powdered sugar in the end.

Another version, a bit larger.  I like mine small so they fry quickly, less oil and no raw insides.  Mine are bumpier with the raisin and apple chunks making them look more interesting, IMHO
Another version, a bit larger. I like mine small so they fry quickly, less oil and no raw insides. Mine are bumpier with the raisin and apple chunks making them look more interesting, IMHO | Source

Wait a few minutes for the batter to settle. Meanwhile, find a nice little shallow pot for heating up the oil. I try to fry only 6 or so at a time to have better control on how they are cooking. They may burn easily, best if they fry efficiently but moderately. They need turning over at the midpoint, so you do have to keep an eye on them. Luckily, the whole procedure goes very quickly. A batch may make as many as 60+ balls - that's five dozen - and in as little as half an hour.

If there are others at home, get help and start a production line. One person can sift the powdered sugar on the fritter balls as soon as they drain and are still hot and moist. Between frying, let the oil heat up again - this takes about a minute - before tossing the next set of apple balls in the pot. It the oil isn't hot enough, the cookies will turn out mushy and oily - no good.

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Comments 14 comments

stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 4 years ago from Miami, US

This looks absolutely lovely! Unfortunately, I've sworn off fried foods until next Christmas season, but I'll keep the recipe bookmarked.


Joe Macho profile image

Joe Macho 4 years ago from Colorado

A recipe right up my ally. I'm constantly on the lookout for traditional recipes and this hits the nail right on the head. They look great and can only imagine they taste as good if not better! I really enjoy your recipes. Thanks for sharing.


livelonger profile image

livelonger 4 years ago from San Francisco

Izvrsne izgledaju! Thank you for this recipe. I've never made fritule before but I've certainly heard of them. Will have to try them out one of these days...after I get off my diet, of course.


leann2800 4 years ago

These look like a fun food. Absolutely perfect for crowds. Thanks for sharing.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

@stephaniedas, hi, nice to see you stopping by again! I know, fried foods are bad - but because of the cream of wheat, they're filling and nutritious. I try to make them when I expect a crowd to cut down on temptations and give a few to our downstairs' neighbor :) Best when they are freshly made, warm and crispy - yum...

@JoeMacho, thanks for the lovely compliment. I love food so why not enjoy what you eat. My kids told me to write a hub about them, since it's one of their favorites. Hope you get around to trying them, and soaking the raisins in rum gives them great flavor. Dried figs can also be substituted. Take care, ECAL

@livelonger, not bad on the Croatian! I'm glad that you think they look good! Like I mentioned above don't make them when you're home alone - wait til afternoon when the kids come home from school with friends - same thing goes for opening a chocolate bar - spread it out!

@leann2800, they are a fun food. Making them is a great family project. One kid (older) grates the apples, another mixes the cream of wheat and flour, and so on. The production line from draining the oil, dusting powdered sugar can also be fun. Each has his or her own job and can take part in their success. Hope you enjoy making them! I love how they add such a great scent to the home with the various fruit smells :)


stephaniedas profile image

stephaniedas 4 years ago from Miami, US

Hey, actually, my brother gave me a deep-fryer for Christmas. I've only used it once to make a delicious Ecuadorian snack (my boyfriend gets nostalgic for his home foods sometimes), fried plantains, and they came out so much better than they ever did in a conventional pan. Light and crispy, not dripping with oil. I'll give your recipe a try now that I'm feeling more confident with my deep-frying abilities. And I didn't mean to knock the fried foods-- they aren't great for you, but every so often they aren't a bad thing to eat :)


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

well, a little can't hurt. I try to make them when there's a houseful, it helps get rid of them quickly! Or you can make a half batch. Good luck!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Thanks, Joe. Glad to hear you like 'em. These are small but pack a punch, and because of the cream of wheat, apple and fruit they do have some nutritional value. Thanks for stoppin' by!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

I'm on a diet, too, know what you mean! Good Croatian, by the way, are you also a Croat or just multi-lingual? Hope you are not one of those eternal dieters - life is for the living, ya know! Apple fritter cookie dreams!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Exactly, StephanieDas! Couldn't have said it better myself. Remember, keep the balls small so they cook all the way through and evenly. Try a couple to see how much time you need to get the ideal crunchy crispiness. Good luck!


crtake 4 years ago

I'm thinking of making these for appetizers at my daughter's wedding since her father is Croatian and grew up on an apple farm. Can we make them the night before or will they be too greasy? How would we store them?


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

You can make them the day before, and no, they shouldn't be too greasy. Having the oil hot enough to cook evenly and rapidly is important (so they don't drink too much oil) then 1. drain on a plate then 2. on paper towels is recommended. Sugar sticks better to them when they are still warm.

You can store them in a large plastic container in the refrigerator (just not icy cold, cool temp).

Don't know how many people you plan to serve. Best to make a test drive before D-Day and see how many people eat - 4 or 5 apiece? Then judge whether you want to make a double batch, triple batch or so on.

Thanks for the visit and the comment. Best wishes for your daughter's upcoming wedding! Ecal


Brainy Bunny profile image

Brainy Bunny 4 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

If I can get over my fear of frying, I'm definitely going to make these. They sound delicious!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

It's easier when you use a tiny pot and fry about four at a time. Once they start turning golden turn them over and use a slotted spoon strainer to remove each one. The oil should be hot enough to fry quickly without snapping or popping, and keep water far away from the pot. Good luck :) I have also substituted dried figs for raisins depending upon what I have on hand. - Anastasia

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