Frittelle (Italian Carnival Doughnuts)
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) raisins
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) rum
- 1 cup (250 ml) milk, lukewarm
- 4 teaspoons (20 ml) instant yeast
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
- 3 cups (750 ml) pastry flour
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) candied citron (cédrat), diced
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) pine nuts
- Grated zest of 1 lemon or 1 orange
- Olive oil, for frying
- 1 cup (250 ml) sugar
The night before
- In a bowl, combine the raisins and alcohol. Cover and marinate overnight.
- In a large bowl, stir the milk with the yeast until it dissolves.
- Stirring with a wooden spoon, add the eggs, sugar, salt and melted butter. Blend well.
- Add the flour and beat vigorously until the dough becomes smooth. Stir in the raisins with the alcohol, candied fruit, pine nuts and zest. Knead the dough with a spatula for 30 minutes, lifting the bottom to the top and turning the bowl until air bubbles start to form (instead of a spatula, you can use a stand mixer fitted with dough hook and mix on low speed for 15 minutes).
- Leave the dough into the bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in volume (about 1 hour) in a warm place.
- Preheat the oil in the deep fryer to medium-high heat (190°C /375°F). Pour the sugar onto a plate.
- With two spoons, form into small balls with 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of dough. Fry in the hot oil, a few at a time, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel and roll each fritter in the sugar. Fry the remainder of the dough the same way. Serve warm.
They prepare the Frittelle in Venice during the carnival, which takes place in February. You can then enjoy these sweets in most pasticceri, in osterie and other bacari, because they are very popular.