“I ate these at a marketplace by the port in the northeastern Italian town of Trieste, and they were being bought as quickly as they were fried. This is my mother’s recipe and the method is not traditional, but it works well, as long as you adjust the mixture with a bit of extra flour if your egg is larger than most or if the apple is particularly juicy. I use grappa-soaked sultanas (I always have a jar in the fridge). If you do not have grappa or don’t like the taste, use brandy or even warm water.”
- 1 egg
- 60ml whole milk
- 125g plain flour, plus 1-2tbsp extra, if needed
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp sultanas, soaked in 60ml grappa, brandy or warm water for 15 minutes
- 1 tart green apple, such as granny smith, peeled and cored
- ½ large orange, zested
- ½ large lemon, zested
- Grapeseed, peanut or sunflower oil, for frying
- Icing sugar, for dusting
01 Place the egg and milk in a small bowl and whisk with a fork.
02 Place the ﬂour, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt in a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine. Mix the egg and milk into the ﬂour and stir until well combined.
03 Drain and squeeze the sultanas and grate the apple. Add these to the dough along with the zests and stir well to combine – the mixture should be thick but pourable. Add a bit of extra ﬂour if it is too wet.
04 Heat 4-5cm oil in a heavy-based saucepan (or use a deep-fryer) to 170C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil sizzles in 5 seconds.
05 Using two metal tablespoons dipped in the hot oil, pick up a ball of mixture with one spoon, and push it into the hot oil with the other spoon. The balls should be the size of an apricot. Don’t worry if you get little trails of dough. Cook 3-4 at a time, depending on the size of your pan, for about 4 minutes, until golden brown all over.
06 Drain on kitchen towel and break open a fritola to check that it is cooked through. If it isn’t, reduce the temperature of your oil slightly and wait a minute or two.
07 Once the fritole have cooled slightly, dust with icing sugar and serve warm.