I have a friend called Naomi and this week she came over for a baking date.
Naomi used to be a professional cook/baker (she even has her own self-published cookbook) and she’s one hell of a gardener. Both of these trades Naomi does with little fuss and just the right amount of humor. She also happens to be the kind of person whom I met and could tell right away I would trust implicitly in the kitchen. She just has that look about her … she has those hands.
Well as some of you may remember one of my New Years resolutions was to ‘perfect homemade doughnuts’. For our baking date I decided I would begin this process by making the closest thing I’ve ever made to a doughnut: Ricotta Fritters. Naomi showed me how to make Quinoa Muffins (an outstanding recipe which I will have to ask her if I can share with you soon).
The first few fritters to come out of the oil were overdone (oops, must get a temperature whats-its before I really get into my year-of-doughnuts). The second batch was better. The third batch was dynamite! This recipe is simple, so satisfying and gorgeous. I really love it. It is slightly adapted from Gourmet magazine, April 2008 (gosh do I miss Gourmet, sniff).
makes about 16 fritters
around 64 ounces of peanut or sunflower seed oil
3/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1 t lemon zest
1 C whole milk ricotta
1 T natural cane sugar
1-1/2 t pure vanilla extract
Heat your oil for a half hour (or so) on medium to medium low heat. Combine flour, baking powder and lemon zest; whisk well. Combine ricotta, eggs, sugar and vanilla; whisk well. Add wet to dry; whisk well. Drop by tablespoons into the hot oil. Turn over once or twice while in the oil. Let cook for 2–3 minutes depending on your preference of done-ness. Use a slotted spoon to lift out onto paper towel to drain. Let cool a bit and sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Serve immediately.
Cooks Notes: If you like more sweet add another tablespoon of sugar (that is what the original recipe calls for). Wait 5 minutes between frying the batches of fritters so your oil can heat back up a bit. If you can, wait until the fritters cool down a touch to eat them … you’ll taste much more of the lemon and ricotta flavors which are so worth the wait! Save the oil when you’re done; I put mine right back in the glass bottle and use it at least one more time (at least).