Venetian Fritelle for Carnival
100 g – 2/3 cup raisins
120 ml – 1/2 cup grappa, eau de vie or anise liqueur
500 g – 3 2/3 cups plain flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
15 g – 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
80 g – 1/3 cup caster sugar, plus more for dusting
Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
50 g – 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
50 g – 1/3 cup candied citrus peel (optional)
240 ml – 1 cup whole milk, lukewarm
Sunflower oil, for frying
Icing sugar, for dusting
Soak the raisins in grappa and leave to plump up.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, yeast and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre and break in the eggs, then, using a fork, start to incorporate them into the flour. Add the pine nuts, candied citrus peel (if using) and the raisins with their soaking liquid. Pour in the milk, too, and stir with a wooden spoon until it all comes together into a sticky dough. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size and very bubbly on the surface.
Next, heat the oil in a deep, medium-sized skillet over a low-medium heat. Once hot (180°C/350°F), grab two tablespoons and use them to shape your frittelle. Take a dollop of dough as big as a walnut and give it a round-ish shape using both spoons, then slip it into the hot oil. Repeat in batches, frying about 5-6 frittelle at the time. Fry them on both sides until dark brown all around. Drain with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a large plate lined with absorbent paper towels.
Leave the frittelle to cool before dusting them with icing sugar. They are best enjoyed freshly made.