Frittelle di Mele
Styling: Anita Parise
Blog: Renee Lenzarini
Photography: Anita Parise
Recipe & Inspiration: Celebrating the sapori of Carnevale
I can say with great satisfaction that Anita and I have been incredibly organised this year (so far!) with our recipe selection and planning. We have put a lot of thought into presenting recipes to our GR clubbers that are seasonal, regional and above all else, celebratory. For our second recipe blog of the year we were pumped for the fun and games that is the Carnevale di Venezia.
The season of Carnevale falls at the end of winter and traditionally involves celebrating with indulgent foods. To mark the time Jesus spent fasting in the desert, eggs, butter, milk and stocks of fat would be used up to prepare oneself for the period of fasting (Lent). Frittelle di Mele (apple fritters) are light, soft and yet crispy dolci that represent the essence of Carnevale.
Of course in every region of Italy, preparation for Carnevale is different. You’ll find frittelle or ‘le fritoe’ in dialect, both small and large in size, filled with custard or zabaione, with or without raisins or apple, baked, fried and some with rice, polenta and even herbs. The original frittelle recipe – you probably guessed comes from Venice – includes sultanas, pine nuts, lemon rind and a hint of rum. Our recipe is slightly different to the traditional (but just as irresistible) and was shared with us by Anita’s mum, Nina (which we think adds that something extra special). In any case they are soft, delicate and heavenly.
The aroma of fried pasties and carnival foods are known to fill the cold air in Venice during this time. I have been lucky enough to travel to Italy more times than I can remember, but I have never visited during Carnevale – so unfortunately I had never sampled these sweet treats … until now. Clubbers, they are just so crunchy on the outside and super soft on the inside!
Are you observing the 40 days of tradition? Even if you aren’t, this is the sort of recipe that says lets celebrate! Perfect for afternoon tea and best served warm, why not try it for Martedi Grasso (Shrove Tuesday) next week. Let us know if you were able to just stop at one …
PS. Anita and I are also excited to let you all know that we will be collaborating soon with fellow devotee of la dolce vita, Daniele Foti Cuzzola of Dine with Daniele. After a catch up last week and lots of penciling in of diaries, we can’t wait to show you what we’ve come up with.
A presto clubbers!
Renee, Anita and the GR team
- 2 x Granny Smith apples, peeled and grated
- 2 x heaped tsp of caster sugar
- 10 x heaped tbsp of self raising flour - see our friends at The Healthy Baker
- 1 x large egg
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 cap full of vanilla essence
- Vegetable oil or another oil suitable for frying (high temperature cooking)
** Variations: Add some sultanas or chopped walnuts - you may need to adjust the milk accordingly. Or for the'adult' edition, opt out the apple and vanilla and add a splash of your favourite liquore and choc chips!
- Begin by placing all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Next, add the wet ingredients - including the apples.
- Fold the ingredients until just combined. The batter should be 'thick ish' - almost like a wet muffin consistency.
- In a medium size, deep saucepan heat the oil until hot. Carefully drop the batter as close to the oil as possible. Try not to over crowd the pan as it will alter the cooking temperature.
- Fry the batter until it is a dark golden colour. Once cooked, remove the frittelle and set aside on a cooling wire with some absorbent paper.
- Once completely cooled dust with icing sugar.
- For an extra special dessert, serve the frittelle warm with some quality gelato alla vaniglia drizzled with honey.