Corn Fritters with Balsamic Blackberry Sauce are a sweet and savory delight. Slightly spicy corn fritters are fried golden brown, and drizzled with a richly sweet and ever-so-slightly tangy blackberry sauce. These make a great appetizer, or a side dish that pairs well with roasted chicken or pork.
Writer’s block is a PITA (pain-in-the-arse). I stared at the photos for this post for about two hours before I could come up with anything worth writing. Which amuses me, because as I was making this recipe, I thought of all sorts of things to say about it.
This is one of those dishes I got the idea for while I was at work one day about two weeks ago. Probably in the midst of some phone call about a scoreboard not lighting up or communicating. I’m impressed that I actually remembered it, to be honest. I’m of the age where, if it’s not written down, I tend to forget it.
I also blame the hypothyroid brain fog, though that isn’t nearly as bad as it’s been before.
This is also one of those dishes that could’ve turned out really badly. I have ideas and what my brain comes up doesn’t always mesh well with reality. What I envision in my head sometimes doesn’t translate as well as I’d like either in taste, appearance, or in how it photographs. Thankfully this time, my brain and reality came together beautifully.I made corn fritters once, a long time ago. The only things I can remember about them are that I last made them when Jay and I still lived in our apartment, and they were (another) colossal PITA. So, I haven’t made them since. But, it’s sweet corn season and I’ve been getting sweet corn from my friend Dawnna, and her produce stand.
And not that I don’t love corn on the cob – I do, but I wanted to do something different. And when I decided a few weeks ago to make some corn fritters, I opted to use fresh corn, rather than canned or frozen.
I was also thinking that because corn fritters can either be a little spicy or a little bland, I wanted to either tone them down or jazz them up somehow. And I thought that since corn and blackberries play well with each other, I would make a blackberry compote or sauce for topping the fritters. This is where the fritters went from a tasty snack to being one of the best things I’ve made recently.
A couple of the test fritters (AKA the “ugly” ones) made their way to the bambino and Jay for tasting. First plain, then with a little powdered sugar. And then I made the blackberry sauce to drizzle on top. Oh-Em-Gee. It was like the heavens opened and choirs of angels started singing.
The sauce by itself is rich and velvety. There’s the earthy sweetness from the blackberries, but also a hint of tangy brightness from the lemon-infused white balsamic vinegar I used instead of straight lemon juice. There was enough that I had several spoonfuls with plenty leftover for the fritters.
I used Coteau des Prairies‘ Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar, which isn’t listed on their website, but if you’re in Brookings, you can pick it up at The Carrot Seed Kitchen Store, possibly also at The Pheasant Restaurant (but it’s been awhile since I’ve gone, so I’m not sure what oils and vinegars they’re currently stocking). This stuff is my absolute favorite balsamic vinegar. It’s like a Lemonhead candy on steroids. I have a hard time not taking swigs from the bottle (seriously).
For the Fritters:
- 1 1/2 C flour
- 2 Tbsp. cornmeal
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 C fresh sweet corn kernels (for 3-4 cobs)
- 1/2 C milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 C vegetable oil (for frying)
For the Blackberry Sauce:
- 1/2 C water
- 1/3 C sugar
- 2 Tbsp. Lemon-infused white balsamic vinegar
- 4 whole allspice
- 2 C fresh blackberries
To make the Blackberry Balsamic Sauce, bring the water, sugar, vinegar, and allspice to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature and discard the allspice.
Combine the syrup with the blackberries in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Cover and set aside while making the Corn Fritters.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking power, salt, and cayenne pepper. Toss the corn kernels in the dry ingredients until all are coated.
Whisk together the milk and eggs, then add to the dry ingredients. Mix just until all the batter is moistened. Set aside.
In large cast iron skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Using a large (3-Tbsp) scoop, carefully add the batter to the oil, making sure not to over-crowd the pan. Slightly flatten the fritters and cook until golden-brown on the bottom, 2-3 minutes.
Carefully flip over, and cook 2-3 minutes more. Remove and drain on paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining batter.
To serve, top warm fritters with several spoonfuls of blackberry sauce.