Easy Ricotta Fritters

Categories: Book recipe, Easy donuts, Italian pastries

I’m so happy to share a recipe with you from my first Cookbook: Desserts with Gusto.
You can read more about the book and where to find it here: https://alifewithgusto.com/events/ and watch a video: https://alifewithgusto.com/my-books/desserts-with-gusto/

Everyone in our house loves this recipe, but none more so than I. That is because I can take the glory for dishing up a plate of warm, light, spongy yet crips doughnuts/donuts (depending on where you are reading this) and it takes almost no work at all.

The biggest “job” for the chef is to get yourself down to an Italian deli that sells fresh ricotta. I love La Grotta del Formaggio on Commercial Drive. The first time I went in there was like a flashback to my twenties, but with more disposable income in my purse than back then! This deli smells exactly like the Latteria Alimentaria I used to frequent in San Domenica – where I lived – which is just outside Florence. I can’t really articulate how it smells, and you’re here for the recipe anyway, so just pop in and take a whiff of its warmth and deliciousness yourself. (An Alimentaria by the way is home to cured meats, cheese, bread and all those things you need for a great Italian meal.)

Start out with fresh ricotta.

Flavour the fritelle with freshly grated lemon, orange or lime zest.

And now for the recipe as it appears in the book:

Ricotta fritters / Fritelle
Ricotta— which is a whey product—has a place in every course for Italian cooking. It turns up in appetizers, pasta fillings, cookies, and cakes. It is a wonder. These fritters are marvelously easy to make and very versatile; you can serve them with your favourite chocolate sauce or they’re delightful little treats just lightly dusted with sugar. Feel free to omit the lemon if it’s not your thing and just use milk, liqueur or orange juice. Did I mention how easy they were?

Makes 18-22 small rounds

1 cup (250 mL) whole milk ricotta
2 eggs
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice or limoncello
1 cup flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) sugar
Approximately 3 cups (750 mL) vegetable oil, for frying
Powdered or caster sugar, for dusting

Place the ricotta, lemon juice or limoncello, and eggs in a bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed.

Gently incorporate the remaining ingredients until the mixture forms a thick paste.

Heat about 3 cups (750 mL) or 3” of vegetable oil in a saucepan until it reaches about 360°F (182°C).

Using a teaspoon, shape the paste into small rounds. They needn’t be perfect spheres. The trick is not to make the fritters too big—smaller ones cook best.

Drop the balls into the hot oil in small batches. I like to fry 5-6 fritters at a time. I place them at the outer edge of the pan so they avoid touching each other. Fry for 1-2 minutes, turning them once or twice, until puffed and golden.

Drain on paper towels. I like to dust with powdered sugar or caster sugar.

Serve with your favourite tipple or a cuppa.

And now, some random pictures from my last trip to Italy. Enjoy the recipe and happy baking…with gusto!


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