This sophisticated version of Toffee Apples requires a little time and patience during the preparation, but it makes an ideal dessert for a Chinese meal.
3 bananas, peeled, halved lengthways and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into
1 tablespoon lemon juice mixed with
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon peanut oil
8 oz. sugar
1 fl. oz. water
2 tablespoons sesame seeds sufficient vegetable oil for deep-frying
2 oz. flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 fl. oz. milk
Place the bananas and the apples in a medium-sized mixing bowl and pour over the lemon juice mixture, stirring until the fruit is well coated with the liquid.
To make the batter, sift the flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the beaten egg and half the milk. Using a wooden spoon, gradually draw the flour into the liquid. Beat the batter until it is smooth and thick. Stir in the remaining milk. Set aside.
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the peanut oil, sugar, water and sesame seeds. Place the pan over moderate heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to moderately high and boil the mixture for 10 minutes or until it is light golden in colour. Remove the pan from the heat. Set aside.
With a slotted spoon, remove the bananas and apples from the bowl and drain them on kitchen paper towels.
Fill a deep-frying pan one-third full with the vegetable oil and heat the oil over moderate heat until it reaches 375 °F on a deep-fat thermometer or until a cube of stale bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 40 seconds.
Dip the bananas and apples in the batter and place them into the oil, a few at a time. Fry for 2 minutes or until the batter is puffed up and golden brown. With a slotted spoon, remove the fruit from the pan and allow to drain on kitchen paper towels. Keep warm while you fry the remaining fruit.
Return the saucepan containing the sesame seed mixture to moderately high heat and boil for a futher 5 minutes or until the syrup is golden brown in colour. Remove the pan from the heat.
Lift the pieces of fruit with a pair of chopsticks or two forks and dip them into the syrup, coating them thoroughly and draining off any excess. Arrange the fruit on a lightly oiled serving dish and serve immediately.