To Make Carrot or Parsnip Puffs

Carrot puffs are fritters made with carrots or parsnips. Carrot puffs are more like hush puppies, although they’re leavened with eggs instead of yeast or baking powder. They can seem dense if the oil isn’t hot. A deep fat fryer works well with this recipe.

18th Century

Scrape and boil your carrots and parsnips tender; then scrape or mash them very fine, add to it a pint of pulp, the crumb of a penny loaf grated, or some stale bisket, if you have it, some eggs, but four whites, a nutmeg grated, some orange-flower water, sugar to your taste, a little sack and mix it up with thick cream; they must be fried in rendered suet, the liquor very hot when you put them in: put in a good spoonful in a place.

— Smith, Eliza. “The Compleat Housewife”

21st Century

  • 8-10 medium carrots
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ½ tsp. nutmeg, ground or fresh
  • 1 tsp. orange flower water (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. sherry (sack)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Vegetable oil for pan frying
  1. Make the carrot pulp. Scrape the carrots and boil them for 20 minutes or until tender. Mash the carrots into about 2 cups of pulp.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the carrots, bread crumbs, beaten eggs, nutmeg, orange flower water, sherry and cream.
  3. In a large frying pan, add the oil. It should come about halfway up the sides. The oil should be hot, around 365°.
  4. Drop a heaping tablespoon of the batter into the hot oil. Fry until each side has become golden in color. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

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8 Responses to “To Make Carrot or Parsnip Puffs”

  1. May 3rd, 2012

    Chris Hansley says:

    Hi Frank,

    I just watched the video. Barb used only egg yolks. The recipe calls for 2 eggs beaten. Why the difference? How many egg yolks vs. 2 whole eggs?

    Is it best to fry them in a pan and flatten them a liitle after turning? Or in a pot of oil and let them float and stay more round?


    • May 8th, 2012

      Historic Foodways says:

      Chris, that is very observant of you. To be honest, there was a lot of debate amongst the staff on this recipe. If you use all the liquid called for in the recipe, they come out much flatter and pancake-like. The less liquid you use, the more dense and round they get. So it is up to you — do you want carrot splats, or carrot puffs? Your call.


  2. September 16th, 2012

    Becky says:

    I just made this recipe for a class project and it was so easy and the dish turned out great! I love how informative this website it and it helped me find a wonderful dish to share with my class. Thank you

  3. October 1st, 2013

    Sue Green says:

    Approximately how many puffs does this recipe make?

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