1. Drain clams, reserving the juice. Chop clams by hand or preferably in a blender. Drain clams again, reserving any juice.
2. Stir together the egg, salt and pepper. Add as much flour as needed to hold the mixture together. If needed, use a little reserved clam juice to thin the batter. Stir in clams.
3. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. When hot, drop batter by large spoonfuls to form 2- to 3-inch circles. (Don't crowd the pan; plan to cook fritters in several batches, adding a littler more oil to the pan as needed.)
4. Flip fritters as soon as the bottom sides begin to turn a golden color, and brown the other side.
5. Serve with softened butter or herb-flavored cream cheese.
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