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April 24, 2017

Ottolengui’s Ricotta Fritters with Orange, Persimmon & Mint

by Julieta Lucca

I can't wait for those breezy Spring evenings when the sun is yet to set and the air is full of fresh floral and citrusy scents.

Those evenings are best accompanied by a glass of light refreshing wine and a plate of ricotta fritters.

I know it may seem odd, but these little airy puffs of sweetness are best enjoyed as a light treat, something that is very much reflected in the picture perfect moment I described earlier.

Nothing screams Spring and Summer like the combination of mint, orange, and ricotta; so it’s really no surprise, that Ottolenghi’s recipe for ricotta fritters caught my eye immediately. I decided to slightly change the recipe to incorporate a new discovery of mine, persimmon.

I love discovering new fruits, vegetables, spices and anything that can elevate dishes, and challenge my senses. If you also enjoy discovering new tastes, smells and food that can make your sense’s sing, head to Borough Market – you will not be disappointed.

What’s interesting about persimmon is that there are two most common varieties: astringent and non-astringent. The astringent variety is also known as Hachiya and must be fully ripe before it’s eaten as the taste changes quite a lot. The non-astringent persimmon, also known as Fuyu, looks very much like a tomato. These can be consumed both when ripe and still firm, and work particularly great cut up and used in salsas or as part of salads.

 

ingredients

đź•‘ 1 hour

  • serves 8
  • 350g ricotta
  • 60g goat cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 1½ tbsp fresh mint (finely chopped)
  • 2 persimmon (finely chopped)
  • 160g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 50g caster sugar
  • oil for frying (I used vegetable oil)
  • honey for drizzling
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • salt

for the orange syrup

  • peel of one orange
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml water

method

– Start by making the orange syrup by peeling the orange with a sharp knife, making sure you only get the skin and not the bitter white part of the orange; then slice the skin into julienne (thin strips). Place the sugar and the water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the orange strips and cook for two minutes. Then remove from the heat and set aside to cool down.

– To make the ricotta fritters: beat the ricotta, goat’s cheese, and eggs together until they become a smooth batter. Then add the milk, mint and the persimmon and mix once again.

– On a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Then stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and incorporate thoroughly until you reach a dropping consistency. You may need to add more flour if the mixture is too wet/runny. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

– Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan with enough oil so it goes 4cm up the sides of the saucepan. When the oil is about 140C degrees hot, gently drop a tablespoon worth of batter.

Add as many drops of batter as you can fit without overcrowding the pan too much. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning every now and again to ensure both sides become golden brown.

– Line a plate with some kitchen paper and remove the cooked fritters when they are done. Place the fritters on the kitchen paper so it absorbs any leftover oil.

– When you are ready to serve, pile up high and drizzle them with honey, followed by a dusting of icing sugar, then sprinkle some of the orange strips on top. You could also omit either the honey or the icing sugar.

– Serve as an afternoon snack with a cup of your favourite coffee, floral tea or light wine and enjoy!

 

Recipe adapted from www.ottolengui.co.uk

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