The batter will absorb all the wonderful camphor flavours of the
bay leaves, partnering beautifully with the sweetness of the pear,
but the bay leaves should not be eaten.
FrittersFor deep-frying:vegetable oil8small fresh bay leaves4small beurre bosc or corella pears, peeled, quartered with stem end intact and cored75 gm (1/3 cup)caster sugar combined with 1 tsp ground cinnamonTo serve:ice-cream or double cream, optionalMoscatel batter200 gm (1 1/3 cups)plain flour50 gmcaster sugar1lemon, finely grated rind225 mlmilk100 mlmoscatel or other sweet, fruity white wine2eggwhites
For moscatel batter, process flour, sugar, lemon rind, milk and wine in a food processor until a thick batter forms, then transfer to a bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then fold gently into batter until just combined.
Heat oil to 180C in a large saucepan or deep-fryer. Dip bay leaves, one at a time, into batter, allowing excess to drip off, then deep-fry in hot oil for 30-40 seconds on each side or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper. Repeat with pear quarters and drain on absorbent paper.
Serve pear and bay leaf fritters sprinkled with sugar mixture, with ice-cream or double cream, if using, passed separately.