I’m not really sure how corn fritters came to be such a big part of our childhood. No one else in our extended family seems to make this Southern speciality. My mother would make them for dinner during corn season and then throughout the winter with frozen corn. We knew just three things about corn fritters: They were fried. They were a vegetable but you were allowed to pour maple syrup over them. And they were delicious.
The original recipe we used was most certainly from the Fannie Farmer cookbook that had pride of place in our kitchen, but like all good family recipes it has changed and morphed as time goes on.
The basics: 1 cup of corn mixed it in a large bowl with the yolk of one egg and 1/4 cup of whole milk before adding 1 rounded cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, a few grinds of black pepper and a dash of ground cardamon. Then one stiffly beaten egg white gets folded in. Possible add-ins depending on mood and season: thinly sliced scallions, diced peppers and/or tomatoes, mushrooms, or onions.
Spoonfuls of batter get dropped into a skillet with about an inch of bubbling oil and cooked on each side until golden and crisp, about 1 1/2 minutes. Then drain on a paper-towel lined plate.
Serve with maple syrup, a spicy aioli or a creamy sriracha sauce.