frittelle di mela
TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes plus chilling
MAKES: Makes about 60 fritters
As a last hurrah before the spartan living that marks Lent, Carnevale, the Italian Version of Mardi Gras, means celebration: lavish parties, festivals punctuated by masked balls, and lots of rich food. Sweet treats, like these fritelle (fritters) are part of the fun. No matter what your religion, you'll love these crispy bites of fried apple. For more fried treats look here.
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons Calvados or other apple brandy
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
- Fine sea salt
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- About 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
- 2 gala apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
In a large saucepan, combine 1/3 cup Calvados, milk, butter, sugar, orange zest and pinch salt. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat, then, using a fork, blend in flour. Cook 1 minute more, then remove from heat. Using a fork, blend in eggs 1 at a time, then sift in baking powder. Transfer batter to a large bowl, add remaining 2 tablespoons Calvados and stir to combine. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes.
Line a large plate with paper towels. Heat about 3 inches oil to 375° in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add apples to batter; stir to combine. Working with about 5 at a time, drop a tablespoon batter into oil and fry, turning once, until puffed and golden, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Using slotted spoon, transfer fritters to paper towels to drain. Serve warm.
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