Author Notes: Frittelle di riso (Rice fritters) are deep fried pancakes made of rice, cooked in milk with lemon zest and sugar. They are a typical Tuscan Carnival sweet, which double as street fair food during the Summer.
They are quick and relatively easy to make, but they do not keep well. Which means that you should plan on preparing them when you have guests, so that you can share them and eat them when they are warm or at least fresh. They will still be edible the day after (a lot of people even prefer them one or two days after), but they will not be as fluffy and as sugary, because the coating of sugar will dissolve.
This is the recipe I grew up with, and that my grandmother taught me a long, long time ago. - tuscanfoodie
Serves makes 40 fritters (= 10 portions)
- 1 1/4 cup short grain rice (I use arborio rice, but carnaroli is also fine. The important thing is that you use a SHORT grain rice, the one you would use for a risotto. The longer version will NOT work).
- 3 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- peel of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 finger of brandy (or similar spirits: amaretto will also work)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 eggs, the yolks separated from the white
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or more if needed, to fry
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar to coat the fritters
- Pour the milk into a pan, and add the sugar and the lemon peel. Add the rice, and bring to a boil, very slowly, with a very low fire. It will take some time. Stir from time to time, to avoid the rice to stick to the pan and burn. Take off the fire when the rice will have absorbed the milk completely (see photos above). The whole thing will take 20-25 minutes.
- Place the rice (which will be very sticky) in a large bowl, and add the egg yolks (ONLY the yolks), the flour, the brandy and a pinch of salt. Mix well and let it cool for a couple of hours, or until it is cold to the touch. DO NOT put into the refiregerator, or else the mixture will become too hard to work with.
- When the rice is cold, beat the egg whites until they are firm. Add them to the mixture, incorporating them well.
- If you have a deep fryer, turn it on and bring it to a hot temperature. If not, heat enough oil in a shallow pan so as to be able to deep fry the frittelle.
- When the oil is hot enough, drop the fritters into it, one teaspoon at a time. Let them fry for 30 seconds/1 minute, or enough time for them to become golden. The fritters will grow in size and become as large as a golf ball. Again, see the photos above for an idea of what they should look like.
- Drain the frittelle well and place them onto a paper towel. Pass them then into a bowl full of granulated sugar, and coat them well.
- Serve them hot, or lukewarm, or even cold. As mentioned, they do not keep well, so you should plan on eating them within a day or so.