Sweet Lemon Fritters

F is for fritter.. for this October Hay Hay it's Donna Day post. F also stands for fantastic. When you taste these.. coincidence, I think not.

I am very fond of lemons.. and also of cognac (that I substituted for the brandy in this recipe) so imagine a dough scented with both, full of golden sultanas and served warm with a dusting of sugar..

The whole of the Mediterranean is so tightly bound to its regional food culture that I find the overlap between seemingly different countries absolutely intriguing.  Take Croatia, specifically, the island of Osljak, where there are influences of what one might associate with Hungarian, Turkish and Italian cuisine.  So I was not very surprised to find a fritter recipe that is similar in style to that found in Southern Italy.  Doesn't everyone like a sweet after a meal?  And this fritter hits the mark deliciously.

Here is Jelka Valcic's recipe for sweet lemon fritule.

375 mL warm whole milk
2 tsp dry yeast
pinch plus 2 Tbsp caster sugar
3 large eggs
125 mL brandy
1 Tbsp lemon peel
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
5 Cups all purpose flour
2 cups golden sultanas (raisins)

Vegetable Oil for deep frying
Additional sugar or icing sugar

Place 250 mL warm milk in medium bowl. Add yeast and pinch of sugar; stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Whisk eggs, brandy, lemon peel, vanilla, salt, and 2 Tbsp sugar in large bowl; whisk in yeast mixture and 125 mL warm milk. Mix in flour.
Using wooden spoon, stir dough 5 minutes. Mix in sultanas. Continue to stir dough until dough begins to come away from spoon and bowl, about 5 minutes longer.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and let raise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Using two oiled spoons, scoop up 2.5 cm balls of dough and with the second spoon, scrape dough onto baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Continue with remaining dough and re-oil spoons as necessary.
Heat 7.5 cm oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat to 175-180C. Carefully drop 10 dough balls into oil. Or fewer in a smaller pan. Turning often, fry until golden and cooked through (about 2 minutes). With slotted spoon, lift fritters to paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Continue with remaining dough.
Place warm fritters in large bowl or basket and sprinkle with additional sugar. Can be made 4 hours ahead. Transfer to platter. Let stand at room temperature.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: May 2002 edition of Bon Appétit magazine


jenjen said…
Unbelievably delicious Mary. I love lemon and cannot wait to try these. Thanks!
Barbara said…
They look fantastic Mary. Thanks for participating in HHDD
Vintage Wine said…
Found your blog through Milk&Cookies, and I`m stuck here now ;-) You`ve got so many recipes that sounds delicious! I`m getting really hungry now...
Take care,
Anna said…
these look wonderful.

i always wondered how ciambelle and other italian fried doughs took on such a subtle lemon flavour to them. now i know!

i think you've got my vote!
Ivonne said…
Ciao Mary!

I just love these fritters. I can smell the lemon!
Brilynn said…
I've never had lemon fritters with sultanas, but I definitelys should make an effort to try some, they look great!
Lushlife said…
I just adore lemon flavoured desserts, great plate presentation too.
Mary said…
Hi Everyone,
Many thanks for all your comments and compliments.. I have been (so far) unable to post on milkandcookies to thank Jenjen for her great roundup and to echo how yum-wonderful all the entries look! I am now smitten with fritters, sweet, savoury and rat's tails too.
Thank you!
Kristina said…
My gosh, these look amazing! You have me with any sweets with lemon, but then to deep fry them, and with raisins, and sugar on top... i think i'll get A. to make them for me today! He made apple fritters a few months ago, something that his mom used to make, so it shouldn't be too hard to convince him. Thanks for the recipe!
Mary said…
Hi Christina,

This dough is a bit sticky.. but with the two spoon technique, the little bites (with some espresso) are worth it. Unlike my better half (no one better if you require someone to slice and dice etc.), but who would rather not measure anything.. I am sure A. will be a lemon fritter expert in no time!

Hope some spring weather comes your way soon!
Angela said…
This look amazing. I too love lemon and cognac -- and little sweet bites with espresso. Perfect!
Mary said…
Hi Angela,
The cognac provides a particular flavour sensation that can be difficult to put a finger on.. but with the lemon, the combination works. Thanks for stopping by!
MrJimmienoone said…
I love lemon in all forms - the original thing stolen from a tree above Amalfi and eaten with the peel, lemon marmalade, lemon peel as a spice for fish and chicken, southern italian limoncello, "dolci di limone" from the Naples region (biscuit with limoncello under a lemon-vanilla-cream), salted and bottled lemons as the Moroccans make it, just about everything... -
I tried this recipe. I ought to kiss your feet for posting this.
Mary said…
Hi MrJimmienoone,
You've mentioned some of my favourite things that have been done with lemon! This humble, ubiquitous Mediterranean fruit elevates almost everything it touches! From the scent of the blossoms to icy limoncello! So good! Thank you for stopping by la tavola!

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