Easter is Sunday and nothing says “Easter” in an Italian-American household like ricotta cheese.
Why? I really don’t know. BUT, I think it has something to do with the versatility of ricotta. You can make it savory or sweet, appetizer, entree or dessert. Or all three. Or five. But who’s counting?
You are. And you should be. Just don’t count the calories in these Ricotta Fritters. It’s pointless. Between the ricotta cheese (full fat, please) and peanut oil you probably have enough to induce cardiac arrest in the newly risen Lord.
Is that blasphemous? Not at all. Just the facts, here.
So while there are many seasonal Italian desserts that would be appropriate for Easter (ex: Ricotta cheesecake, strufoli), the FACT of the matter is that these will induce multiple Hallelujah’s from your Easter crowd. They’re even small enough to hide in those plastic Easter eggs if you like.
What You Need:
8 oz Fresh Ricotta cheese
6 tablespoons flour
20 grams or 3/4 oz butter, softened to room temperature
Grated zest from 1 lemon
3 cups of peanut oil
An “ugly” pot
(An ugly pot is a cheap, deep pot reserved for unsightly tasks like frying. You really don’t want to wreck one of your nicey-nice All-Clad variates with spitting hot peanut oil. Trust me.)
Thermometer (the oil should read 350 degrees)
Honey with limoncello
What To Do:
Put the ricotta in a bowl with the two eggs and mix until well combined.
Add the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, working it into the ricotta with a whisk.
Add in the butter, lemon zest and a pinch of salt, mixing well. If the mixture is too runny, you can add another tablespoon of flour.
Set the batter aside and let it rest for 2 hours. We didn’t do this. We have no patience.
Heat the peanut oil in your ugly pot to 350 degrees.
Test the heat by dropping a tiny ball of the batter into the oil. If it floats immediately to the surface and starts to turn golden brown, you are ready to rock and roll!
Drop the batter into the oil a tablespoon at a time, pushing the batter off of the spoon with a spatula.
Don’t crowd your ugly pot! Fritters need room to breath and fry! Give ’em some space.
When the fritters are an even golden brown, fish them out of the oil with a slotted spoon.
Set them on some parchment paper to cool.
At this point, you can either dust them with confectioners sugar, or gently heat up some honey with a splash of limoncello in it. After your liquored-up honey is warm and runny, drizzle the fritters with it.
Eat these little babies immediately. I can’t think of a reason not to…