Le Gruyère AOP and tomato choux fritters

These oozy choux pastry fritters are crisp and caramelised on the outside with a creamy, cheesy centre – flavoured with classic Le Gruyère AOP, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs. They’re great as a party snack and are sensational with a sparkling, dry white wine.

First published in 2015

These gorgeous, oozy fritters are made with a choux pastry base. Seasoned with a range of herbs, alliums and melty Le Gruyère AOP cheese, they are crisp and caramelised on the outside with a creamy, cheesy centre.

The sun-dried tomatoes work particularly well with the cheese in these fritters, adding a lovely sweet-savoury depth – they should not be omitted!

It’s important that you get the temperature of the oil right when deep-frying. When the temperature is correct, the water in the food turns to steam as it hits the oil, which stops the food absorbing too much fat.

They’re great as a party snack – who doesn’t love a cheesy fritter? Although they must be served immediately, they can be held in a warm oven as you fry them in batches, so you and your guests can all enjoy them together. Very important!

French sparkling white wine, crémant, is a fantastic match for these fritters – as are all dry, sparkling white wines with high-fat foods. The acidity and bubbles cut through the richness of the food, leaving the palate cleansed and refreshed for the next decadent bite.

The lemon wedges served with the fritters also work in a similar fashion. A great non-alcoholic alternative to wine would be lemon juice squeezed into sparkling water – one of my (other) favourite drinks!





Measure the flour into a bowl, add 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Set aside
Add the water and the butter to a medium-large saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, turn off the heat. Tip in the flour, all in one go, and very quickly start beating the mixture together with a wooden spoon or an electric whisk
Keep mixing until the dough is lump-free and has formed a ball which pulls away from the sides of the pan. Beat the eggs together in a separate bowl and add, a little at a time, until each addition is fully incorporated. When the mixture is ready, it will be shiny and smooth – it should have enough body to hold its shape when dolloped, but not thicker than that
You can also use a Thermomix to make the choux pastry – bring the butter and water to the boil on Varoma setting, then turn off the heat, add the flour and start whisking on setting 4 until the mixture is lump free. The mixture will look smoother at this point than if you make it in a pan and beat by hand. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on setting 4 until fully incorporated and smooth
Press some cling film onto the surface to stop it forming a skin while you prepare the seasonings
Cut off 50g of the Le Gruyère AOP and finely grate. Cut the rest of the cheese into 1cm cubes. Finely dice the red onion. Crush or finely chop the garlic. Cut the sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces (about 1/2cm squares). Pick the basil leaves from the stalks and finely chop. Finely chop the parsley leaves, using the stems to hold onto as you chop, but don’t use the stems – they are bitter
Add all the prepared seasonings, together with the Dijon mustard and 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to the mixing bowl – remember to take off the cling film first! Mix everything together well with a wooden spoon
Heat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3 to keep the fritters warm as you fry in batches. Cover a baking tray with kitchen paper, 2-3 sheets thick
Add the frying oil to a large, deep saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 180°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the oil by dropping in a cube of fresh bread. It should take 30-45 seconds to brown and the oil should bubble vigorously around the bread as it fries. If the oil is too hot when you add food, it will absorb the fat. If it’s too hot when you cook these fritters, the inside will stay liquid while the outside overcooks
Work in batches to fry the fritters. Using a tablespoon, add small dollops of choux mixture (about 5cm round) to the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the pan – I fry 5-6 fritters at a time. If they stick together, gently poke them apart
Fry until deep brown, turning occasionally in the hot oil so they cook evenly. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the paper-covered baking tray in the oven to keep warm. Continue with the rest of the mixture
Serve immediately with glasses of chilled crémant and lemon wedges to squeeze over the fritters
First published in 2015

Specialising in vegetarian food, Nancy has cooked her way around Europe and now writes full time for publications and her blog, Delicious from Scratch.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.

You may also like

Load more