Lemon Ricotta Fritters from Huckleberry

February 3, 2015 | By | Comments (3)
Suagar-dusted Lemon Ricotta Fritters with raspberry jam and freshly squeezed blood orange OJ.

Sugar-dusted Lemon Ricotta Fritters with raspberry jam and freshly squeezed blood orange OJ.

Digital Editions managing editor Erika Ehmsen couldn’t resist the siren song of the chapter called “Fried Stuff.”

Why this recipe? There’s something magically delicious about sugar-dusted dough that’s crisp on the outside and has a warm, tender inside, whether it’s a cake doughnut, a state fair funnel cake, or a New Orleans beignet. I own a deep fry thermometer that I’d never used, so I volunteered to take a stab at making fritters, a decadent breakfast treat that’s way out of my usual weekend waffle routine.

The ingredients, all available at a standard grocery store. Not pictured: a vat of oil for frying.

The ingredients, all available at a standard grocery store. Not pictured: a vat of oil for frying.

What was it like to make it? The batter was quick and easy to pull together, but the frying part was intimidating. The recipe suggested frying in a countertop fryer (which I don’t own or need to own) or a Dutch oven—with no particular size noted. I realized as the oil was glugging into my 2.75-quart Le Creuset “French” oven that my pot was barely going to hold the 3 inches of oil that the recipe called for. So when I over-enthusiastically dunked an especially large dollop of dough in the hot oil, it spat back and bubbled over the side of the pot. Flames shot up (!), so I cut the gas and narrowly avoided a grease fire. Lesson learned: Before tackling frying, make sure you have a deep, heavy pot that can accommodate that much oil—a high-sided wok should work well.

Adding a spoonful—an overly large spoonful—of batter to the hot oil.

Adding a spoonful—an overly large spoonful—of batter to the hot oil.

Fritters will bob and float as they fry, so make sure you use a spoon or tongs to gently flip it over for even doneness.

Fritters will bob and float as they fry, so make sure you use a spoon or tongs to gently flip them over for even doneness.

How did it turn out? The fritters turned out larger than Zoe Nathan would have recommended (the recipe says it makes 18 to 20 fritters and I made … just 8). But if you didn’t know what size they should have been and ignored the spindly tentacles of dough sprouting off the traditional fritter shape, then they turned out just the way they should have: Crisp on the outside, and warm and tender on the inside. Like a fragrant lemon funnel cake. And bonus: My kitchen smelled like the state fair.

Multiple fritters can fry at once if you're careful about adding them in quick concession. The oil temperature should be around 375°.

Multiple fritters can fry at once if you’re careful about adding them in quick succession. The oil temperature should hover around 375°F, and it will drop a few degrees when you add each spoonful of batter; just adjust your heat to maintain the temperature—but don’t let the oil get too hot or you’ll burn the fritters and taint your oil.

Will I make it again? Maybe. (Did you see that vat of oil? It was like a medieval-castle security system.) To attempt this recipe again, I’d need to become more comfortable working around hot oil and doing so while juggling frying and serving—these fritters should be eaten hot, so I couldn’t have a batch on the stove and a batch being delivered as breakfast in bed without help from a friend. But would I eat it again? Absolutely.


LEMON RICOTTA FRITTERS

Makes 18 to 20 fritters

Fritters wait for no man,” writes Zoe Nathan. “When they are ready, they must be eaten right away. This is not the kind of thing you can set out in a bowl as part of a beautiful pastry display, for your guests to slowly enjoy. When you make these, everyone should be standing around looking over your shoulder, sipping mimosas, and waiting for the next batch to come out so they can quickly shove them into their months. It’s way more fun that way anyway.”

Tender on the inside, crisp and sugar coated on the outside.

Tender on the inside, crisp and sugar coated on the outside.

Ingredients:

Canola oil for frying
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup (125 g) ricotta
Zest of 2 lemons
1/3 cup (80 ml) whole milk
1 cup (130 g) all-purpose flour
5 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Powdered sugar for sprinkling

Special equipment:
Candy thermometer
Dutch oven that can easily handle 3 inches of oil (with head space/room for liquid displacement) or countertop fryer

1. In a Dutch oven or countertop fryer, heat 3 in. (7.5 cm) canola oil to 375°F (190°C).
2. Whisk together the egg yolks, ricotta, lemon zest, and milk in a small bowl.
3. In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form, 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, add the egg yolk mixture to the flour mixture, followed by the melted butter. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in the egg whites.
6. Using a soup spoon, scoop up 2 to 2 1/2 tbsp. of batter and ease it into the hot oil using another spoon. Fry in batches until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
7. Allow to cool just slightly on a cooling rack, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve hot!

These do not keep well at all, so don’t ask them to. Eat immediately.

COMMENTS

  1. sylvieamesee

    They are the kind of donuts I love, crispy outside and smooth inside. Devilish!

    April 17, 2015 at 7:00 am
  2. Celebrate Spring with a Picnic! | A blog by Sunset

    […] Editor Erika Ehmsen took on a deep-fried challenge—and won, ending up with crisp-delicious Lemon Ricotta Fritters and a kitchen that smelled like the state […]

    April 15, 2015 at 9:31 am
  3. Margo True

    My lord, these look delicious! I would like one right now.

    February 13, 2015 at 4:37 am

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