My dad loves fritule, they are probably his favourite sweet treat. My daughter has also inherited a love for fritule, or doughnuts or fritters, or any fried dough really. Now we have a Croatian background, not Italian, but fritule are eaten where my dad was born. So although I found this recipe in an Italian cookbook, I will one day make the traditional recipe from a Croatian cookbook.
So when I was flicking through a cookbook I found this recipe and instantly knew I had to try it. Now what I loved the most, is that it was a really quick recipe, I can make these in under 15 minutes. Normally fritule are made with yeast which needs time to prove, but these are not traditionally made as the recipe uses baking powder instead of yeast. And another thing I loved, it is made with ingredients I always have in my house.
We loved these fritule, they were absolutely delicious, they were soft and fluffy and everything a fritula should be. Now I will provide the recipe with the addition of sultanas, which I would add for my dad, but for my family, I omit the sultanas, as we don't like them.
Now I hate using the word scant in a recipe, but this recipe does use it when incorporating the baking powder. In cooking, scant refers to an amount that's just barely reaching; in other words, not packed. When a recipe calls for a scant cup or scant teaspoon of something, don't fill the measuring cup or spoon to the top. Instead, use slightly less than the required amount.
I don't actually core my apple, I just peel the apple, then grate the apple around the core into the bowl, then just discard the core.
So here is a recipe I know I will be making again and again.
Makes about 15
1/4 cup (60ml) full cream milk
125g plain flour
1 scant teaspoon baking powder
50g caster sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sultana, soaked in 60ml brandy for 15 minutes (optional)
1 granny smith apple, peeled and cored
Zest of 1/2 large orange
zest of 1/2 large lemon
Sunflower oil, for frying
Icing sugar, for dusting
Place the egg and milk in a small bowl and whisk with a fork.
Place the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine. Mix the egg and milk into the flour and stir until homogenous.
If adding sultanas, drain and squeeze the sultanas and grate the apple. Add these to the dough along with the orange and lemon zest and stir well to combine-the mixture should be thick but pourable.
Heat 4-5cm oil in a heavy based saucepan (or use a deep fryer) to 170C or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil sizzles in 5 seconds. (I like to fry these over low-medium heat, to ensure the outsides don't burn before the insides cook).
Using two metal tablespoons dipped in hot oil, pick up a ball of mixture with one spoon, and push it into the hot oil with the other spoon. The balls should be as big as a large cherry, I like smaller fritule rather than larger, and they do puff up while frying to apricot size. Don't worry if you get little trails of dough and your balls aren't perfect. Cook 3-4 at a time, depending on the size of your pan, for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown all over and cooked through. Drain on paper towels and break open one fritula to check if it is cooked through. If it isn't reduce the temperature of your oil slightly and wait a minute or two and continue frying the remainder.
Once the fritule have cooled slightly, dust with icing sugar and serve warm. They are best eaten the day they are made.
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