Baked fritters are like deep fried fritters except they are cooked in an oven rather than a deep fryer. Fritters can be almost any type of food that has been coated in a batter and cooked. There are many types of fritters and some are only popular in certain localities or regions.
The batter for fritters is generally the same all around the world. A common fritter recipe starts with a dry mixture containing flour, salt and baking powder. Sugar, seasonings and crushed herbs can be added to alter the flavor as desired by the chef. The liquid ingredients are milk and eggs, which get added to the dry mixture.
The concept of baked fritters varies by geographic region and locality. For instance, a popular version of baked fritters in the United States is corn fritters, which resemble small fried cakes. A can of drained corn is added to the batter, and a spoonful of the batter is dropped in hot oil, fried on a hot skillet or baked in an oven.
A baked apple fritter is popular in the U.S. and Britain, but these baked fritters are not the same. In the U.S., chopped bits of apples are mixed into the batter, and the fried dessert is served with toppings such as maple syrup and powdered sugar. In Britain, apple are cut as rings or chunks and then coated and fried and served alongside fish and chips.
A baked zucchini fritter is another popular fritter that is a finger food. Thin slices of peeled zucchini or squash are coated in a spicy batter and cooked in a hot oven or hot oil. Some restaurants serve zucchini and other vegetable fritters with dipping sauce, such as like ranch or blue cheese salad dressing.
Indonesian countries have their own variation of fritters as well. The basic concept remains the same, with a fruit or vegetable being coated and baked until crispy, but bananas, yams or cabbage are most often used. Sidewalk vendors can be found selling a variety of fritters as snacks to passing pedestrians.
Another twist on baked fritters is the use of seafood. Japan is popular for shrimp or scallop fritters. Baked fritters might be served as an accompaniment to a Japanese meal. The batter might be a lighter, crispier version of the American and British batters.
A common misconception about fritters is that the batter is actually a breading. Although flour is a main ingredient in fritter recipes, bread or bread crumbs are not part of the recipe. Doughnuts are very similar to baked fritters with the only difference being the additional fruit, vegetable or seafood ingredient hidden inside the fritters.