frittelle di pera
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour, 15 minutes
MAKES: Makes about 140 fritters
Sweet treats, like these pear fritelle (fritters) are part of the fun of Carnevale, the Italian Madri Gras. For more fried fare fun look here.
- 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 firm but ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- Zest of 1 orange
- Fine sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- About 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
- Confectioners sugar for dusting
- SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch tip, a candy/deep-fry thermometer
In a large skillet, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium high heat. Add pear and cook 1 minute, then add 2 tablespoons sugar; cook until juices are evaporated, about 10 minutes.
Transfer half of the mixture to a food processor; purée until smooth. Reserve remaining pear.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder.
In a large saucepan combine water, milk, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, remaining tablespoon sugar, orange zest and pinch salt. Bring mixture to a boil, whisk in flour mixture, then remove from heat.
Transfer batter to a large bowl. Let cool 10 minutes. Using a fork blend in egg, then add pear, pear purée, pine nuts and brandy; stir to combine. Transfer batter to pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch tip.
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. Holding pastry tip close to oil to minimize splash, squeeze out 1-inch batter and, using a knife, cut batter from tip. Fry fritters in batches of 15, turning once, until puffed and golden, about 1 minute (wipe off knife between batches).
Using slotted spoon, transfer fritters to paper towels to drain, then transfer to a serving dish and dust with confectioners sugar. Serve warm.
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