Made these ricotta fritters recently, not knowing exactly what to classify them as. SPQR refers to them as "contemporary antipasto", and they contain cayenne pepper, fennel pollen and curry powder, so I anticipated them to be a starter with a touch of sweetness. After making them however, I'd put them firmly in the dessert category. A modern dessert - not too sweet, with some savory notes. Whatever you classify them as, they're delicious.
Spiced Ricotta Fritters with Maple Syrup
courtesy of SPQR, with some alterations
1½ cups drained ricotta
1½ tablespoons crème fraîche
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons honey
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon curry powder
pinch of cayenne
canola oil for frying
⅛ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon fennel pollen
¼ teaspoon cardamom
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, curry powder, fennel pollen and cardamom. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the drained ricotta (overnight in cheesecloth suspended over a bowl), crème fraiche, eggs, yolk, honey and salt. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, curry powder, and cayenne, pushing any clumps through the sieve. Whisk to thoroughly combine, then gently fold the dry ingredients into the ricotta mixture.
In a dutch oven, heat at least 3" of canola oil to 360 degrees F. Using either a couple of spoons, or a 1 tablespoon disher, add 1 tablespoon of batter to the oil and fry until golden brown, one minute per side. Remove with a spider strainer to paper towels. Let cool, then open the fritter and check to see if it is cooked in the center. If not, lengthen the cooking time slightly. Fry the remaining batter in batches of 6, removing to paper towels to cool slightly.
Once the fritters are cool enough to handle, but still warm/hot, toss them in the sugar mixture to coat lightly. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with smoked salt and serve with the maple syrup for dipping.
The original recipe called for the maple syrup to be smoked for 20 minutes with apple or cherry wood chips, however I omitted this step because I do not have a stove-top smoker.
I also splurged on Crown maple syrup, which is the absolute best maple syrup I have ever tried. The depth of flavor is mind-blowing. It's probably a big reason why I loved these fritters so much.
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