Oyster Fritters with Lemon Butter Sauce and Candied Lemon Peel

All good Chesapeake recipes, like this one, are passed down and borrowed and edited. The best ones fill kitchens with delicious smells and laughter, and the first bites taste like coming home.
Adapted from chef Kevin McKinney of K-B Market & Cooking School

By / Photography By Lydia Woolever | December 14, 2017

Ingredients

For Candied Lemon Peel:
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 cups water
  • 2½ cups sugar
For Fritter:
  • 1 cup multi-purpose flour (for glutenfree option, use Thomas Keller’s Cup 4 Cup rice flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3-6 ounces of milk
  • 1 pint oysters (liquor drained)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Chopped parsley
  • Capers
For Lemon Butter Sauce:
  • ¼ cup cream
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) cold salted butter, cubed
  • Black pepper to taste

Preparation

Make the Candied Lemon Peel. Peel 3 lemons and slice peels into thin strips. In a medium pot, boil 2 cups of water and add lemon peel. After 1-2 minutes, remove peel slices. Repeat twice to remove bitterness of peel. In a medium pan, add 1 cup water and whisk in 2 cups sugar until dissolved. Add peel slices and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to simmer until the peels are tender and translucent, about 10-15 minutes. Drain peel slices and let cool on a rack or parchment paper. In a bowl, toss peel slices with 1/2 cup sugar. Gently remove peel slices one at a time, gently shaking each to remove excess sugar. Store in an airtight container for up to several weeks.

Make the Fritters. Heat oven to 375°. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl until blended. Add eggs and milk and whisk until blended. Add more milk if needed to make a thick, pourable batter. Gently fold in oysters. In a large frying pan, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat until rippling. Using a large ladle, add one scoop of batter to the pan. Reduce heat to medium. When bottom of fritter has browned, gently flip using a spatula and fork. Move frying pan to oven for about 3 minutes then move fritter to a plate and cover with foil. Repeat steps with remaining batter. When done, turn oven to lowest temperature and insert the fritters.

Make the Lemon Butter Sauce. In a saucepan, whisk cream and lemon juice. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium heat and slowly add butter. Keep whisking until sauce thickens. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender for thicker consistency.

To plate, spoon lemon butter sauce onto bottom of an oven-warmed plate. Add one fritter. Top with additional sauce, chopped parsley, capers, and candied lemon peel. Options: Add sautéed mushrooms or diced country ham to the fritter batter. Or add a fried egg on top of finished fritter.

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Ingredients

For Candied Lemon Peel:
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 cups water
  • 2½ cups sugar
For Fritter:
  • 1 cup multi-purpose flour (for glutenfree option, use Thomas Keller’s Cup 4 Cup rice flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3-6 ounces of milk
  • 1 pint oysters (liquor drained)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Chopped parsley
  • Capers
For Lemon Butter Sauce:
  • ¼ cup cream
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) cold salted butter, cubed
  • Black pepper to taste