Thursday, February 23, 2017

Classic Italian Frittelle

Get ready for this year Carnival celebration 
with these irresistible soft fried dough bursting with sweet raisins 

I know you want it.
And I bet when you try this recipe, you can't eat only ONE! 
These frittelle are simply irresistible. Soft on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside. Sweetened with flavorful raisins and orange zest. Fried to perfection and rolled in sugar. 
I know. I know what you're thinking. I'm going to lure you into trying this recipe which is going to kill your diet!? Well... maybe! But Carnevale is just once a year, so now is the time to go crazy and indulge in one (or many!) of these frittelle. You won't regret it!

Italy is the birthplace of the Carnevale, which makes February a great time to visit, especially Venezia.  You'd be amazed by the stunning masks and world famous costumes, the street parades and all-day parties. 
If you were in Venezia right now, walking along the canals and down the calli, you'd be enticed by the aroma of fried dough coming from every pasticceria around. 
And for everyone else NOT in Italy now (sorry!),  I got a recipe for you, so you can recreate these traditional frittelle in your own kitchen. 

I posted a frittelle recipe before, remember? Maybe not, it's been a couple of years. But that recipe has been recently publish on Honest Cooking. You can check it out here.
Today's recipe is slightly different from that one. As usual, I try to change ingredients and experiment to improve myself. So here is what I came up with. 
No semolino flour in this recipe, just regular all-purpose flour. This gives a less dense (heavy) dough. 
I replaced some of the milk with water, for an even lighter result (but the difference I think is minimal).
And I added raisins for extra flavor. But I didn't filled them with custard cream.
It can be easily done. Your choice :)


YIELD: 20 frittelle
    • 1/2 cup (75 gr) of raisins
    • 1 cup (235 ml) of water
    • 1/2 cup (120 ml) of milk
    • 1 tablespoon (25 gr) of butter
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • 1/4 cup (50 gr) of sugar, plus more to sprinkle on top
    • 1 1/2 cup (225 gr) of flour, divided
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon (5 gr) of baking powder
    • 1 orange, finely grated zest 


    TIME: about 1 hour

    Soak the raisins in hot water for about ten minutes, or until you work on the rest of the recipe.
    In a pan add the water, milk, butter, pinch of salt and sugar. Mix and bring to a slow boil.
    As soon as the butter is melted and the water/milk starts to boil add one cup of flour and mix well.
    Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring often, until it starts to detach from the sides of pan. 

    Remove from the heat, move the batter to a bowl and  let it cool down for a few minutes.
    Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking in between, until smooth.
    Add the rest of the four (1/2 cup), and baking powder. Mix again.
     Add the orange zest and raisins (well drained) and fold.
    Heat the oil in a large enough pan (don't fill more than half of the pan with oil). Test with a wooden spoon or a little piece of dough to see if the oil is ready for frying.The oil will be at the right temperature when little bubbles forms around the spoon or the dough.
     Drop spoonfuls of batter in the oil and fry until golden brown. Make sure you don't fry too many frittelle at the same time. They need space to cook, and turn around. Remove from the oil and place on paper towel to drain the excess oil. Check the first fritter and make sure it's fully cooked inside. If not, lower the flame and cook for a little longer.
    Roll the frittelle in sugar, and enjoy!


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