‘Le Frappole’ Recipe
Styling: Anita Parise & Renee Lenzarini
Blog: Anita Parise & Renee Lenzarini
Photography & Video: Anita Parise with Renee Lenzarini
Recipe & Inspiration: Our Nonna Maria’s
“January saw us celebrate our nation with Australia Day, and as quickly as that came and went we are already nearing the end of February! For this month’s recipe blog, Renee and I were unanimous in deciding that it should be a sweet. Given the timing, we thought about celebrating Carnevale and how we could include you all in our celebrations, by selecting two recipes that are prepared in Italy during this period. They also happen to be family recipes, made by our nonnas.
Carnevale, also known as carnival or mardi gras, is celebrated in Italy in many ways. The occasion marks the 40 days before Easter, celebrated on Shrove Tuesday (The day before Ash Wednesday), and signifies the last celebration before the sacrifices of Lent. This recipe has many different names depending on the region from which you come from. They are commonly referred to as crostoli, frappe, galani, frappole, bugie, cenci and chiacchiere … just to name a few!
My Nonna was born in Balsorano, Italy – a small town which is the last town of the province of L’Aquilla in the Abruzzo region. A pretty town, rich in history and breathtakingly beautiful with Pizzo Deta as a backdrop.
Now that I’ve painted a picture for you, let me tell you a little about this recipe. My nonna would often make these delicious fried pastries known to us as frappole, during this time of year. However, she would also make these often throughout the year on special occasions because everybody loved them. One thing is for sure, they were always made with love and in abundance!
The frappole – or “le frappe” – instantly make me think of her. These deliciously light, airy and crispy fried pastries are delicately dusted with icing sugar and were always tucked away in my nonna’s kitchen cupboard in a huge tupperwear container. I remember as a child helping myself to several of these on a Sunday (before lunch) and being told to stop as I wouldn’t eat lunch if I had too many (yeah right!). I always denied that I had eaten any, not realising that the evidence of the icing sugar would cascade onto my clothing or face when the pastry was snapped in half! These thoughts evoke wonderful memories of my childhood and my nonna, when she was at her happiest with her family.
I asked my mum for nonna’s recipe and in true nonna style it was not written down as a recipe per se. It was just a list of ingredients as these foods were always made by eye. So I jogged my mum’s memory and 3 trials later, Renee and I got it spot on! Even my mum said, “These ones look and taste just like my mum’s!” And that was the reaction I was hoping for.
I really felt my nonna’s presence in the kitchen that day, it was special. I will definitely be making these for my children as my nonna did for hers.
Our styling inspiration this month came from our nonnas and our heritage. We created a pretty, vintage feel using colour and texture to make our dishes come alive. Ultimately re-creating a familiar setting of when our nonnas would entertain guests.
The blue tablecloth was one of mine sourced from Spotlight and the lace overlay was given to me by my mum. The silver trimmed pink floral coffee set was originally my nonna’s and was lent to me for the shoot. The gorgeous silver lace trimmed Vera Wang tea cup and saucer are Renee’s. The subtle pink plate that the frappole were served on was recently purchased from Ikea and is also Renee’s. The pretty vintage peonies were an arrangement that Renee’s mum had used for her bedroom, which added the pop of colour and showcased the vintage feel perfectly.
We hope that this month’s recipe blog has evoked memories of your own childhood – of happy times spent with family and loved ones. Give these recipes a go – we guarantee you will be making these often as you simply just can’t stop at one!
Serving Suggestion: The ideal treat for a morning or afternoon tea. A simple dusting of icing sugar gives these wonderful treats a vintage feel and authentic taste!
*Note: The frappole will keep for 3 months in an air tight container (But they will not last that long as they are delicious!)
Enjoy the celebration of Carnevale!
Anita, Renee & the GR Team
See also: “Celebrating Carnevale: Nonna’s Befanini Recipe“
- 1 x egg
- 2 tablespoon of caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon of anisette liqueur (or any other that you may have – we used a Turkish delight liqueur)
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil
- The rind of 1 small lemon, finely grated
- A pinch of salt
- 100g of plain flour
- 40g of self-raising flour
- Extra canola oil for frying
- In a bowl, mix the egg, sugar, oil, liqueur and lemon zest using your hands. Add the flour slowly until a soft dough forms. Turn out the dough onto the bench and knead whilst adding more flour, until it becomes smooth and elastic. Rest the dough for 20 minutes in the fridge (Wrapped in plastic).
- Roll out the ball of dough a few times and pass it through a pasta machine on #7. Cut into strips approximately 6-7 cm wide. (Ensure to keep these well floured as they will stick to your bench because they are very thin). If you don’t have a pasta machine, roll the strips out as thin as you possibly can.
- In each portion using your frilled pastry cutter, make two vertical incisions, starting approximately 1-2 cm from the top and finishing with the same proportions at the bottom.
- At this point prepare your oil. Half fill a deep pan with oil and heat over a moderate flame until it reaches the boil (Approximately 80 -95 degrees).
- Weave the strips like a plait and drop them into hot (but not boiling) canola oil. They will instantly puff up – they do not long as they are very thin, a few seconds in fact.
- As soon as they are a light golden colour, flip and remove. Place them on absorbent paper toweling and let cool. Frappole are best dusted with Icing sugar just before serving.