Ok, so my sincerest apologies for two things – one, for getting that song stuck in your head (it’s been floating around in my noggin for at least two days – misery loves company) and two, for being a big, fat liar. Last week I talked about how I rarely fry at home. Well this week I’ve broken out the vegetable oil no fewer than three times, so apparently I am not to be trusted. However, I fry because I love you, and these orange scented ricotta zeppole – they are love. Little, golden-brown, fluffy nuggets of love.
Now what kind of love is this? Is it the puppy-love of youth? No, I think that’s more like my love for Oreo’s – nostalgic but shallow. Perhaps a passionate and fiery love? Hm…not quite right either. I think this is more of an exotic, romantic love. Like the kind that happens in movies when you travel abroad and meet a handsome stranger in a foreign land. It’s sweet without being saccharine, unfamiliar yet deeply embraceable, brief but meaningful.
Maybe it’s because zeppole are Italian and that brings to mind romantic images of golden sunsets and long dinners overlooking a piazza. Or maybe it’s just because these little fritters are soft, not too sweet, and just different enough to be exciting. But whatever the reason, they warm my cold, dark heart and they are my gift to you. Both because we all need a little extra love sometimes and also because…well, the song. So sorry.
Orange Scented Ricotta Zeppole
- April 20, 2018
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- 1 quart vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ C granulated sugar
- Zest of one, large, navel orange (roughly a heaping tablespoon, but more is fine)
- 1 C whole milk ricotta
- 1 egg
- ¼ C orange juice
- Powdered sugar
- Step 1
- In a 2.5 or 3 quart saucepan heat oil over medium high until it registers 375° F.
- Step 2
- While the oil heats up combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Step 3
- In a smaller bowl combine sugar and orange zest. Rub together with your fingers to distribute the zest in the sugar.
- Step 4
- Add the ricotta, egg, and orange juice. Whisk to thoroughly combine.
- Step 5
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix just until no more dry flour remains.
- Step 6
- Working in batches of six, drop a heaping tablespoon of batter into the oil, I like to use a spring loaded scooper for this, but you can totally use two spoons (one to scoop and one to scrape the batter off into the oil – don’t plop it from a great height though – hot oil burns).
- Step 7
- Cook until deep, golden brown on all sides – turning frequently to get an even color. This took me about 2-3 minutes per batch of six.
- Step 8
- Drain each batch on paper towels briefly, then transfer to a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. You can keep them warm in a 250° F oven while you finish frying the rest.
- Step 9
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.