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Author Notes: Ever since FOOD52 announced this contest I’ve had a play list in my head; Honey Don’t, Tupelo Honey, Money Honey, Taste Like Honey, Honey, Honey, Wild Honey Pie, I can’t help myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch). And being a huge Van Morrison fan I wanted to make something with Tupelo Honey, but my gosh the options were crazy I was thinking of a pecorino flat bread with honey comb, blue cheese flans with buckwheat honey, hot Tupelo honey & fried chicken, so many ideas.
I wanted to make something that brought out the best of honey so I broke it down the sweetness of honey is rich there’s something floral to it, and the smell of cooked honey is so intoxicating, but its also complicated and I wanted to bring all of that out. At first I thought of struffoli or taigelach- essentially the same thing an Italian version and Jewish one- Tiny fried dough balls soaked in honey syrup and liberally sprinkled with nonpareils (100s & 1000s). My grandma Mattie would make it for Rosh Hashanah.
But I never liked it as much as I felt I should've, the 100s and 1000s are too crackly for me, it was kind of one dimensional it was just sweet, plus I never really loved the little dough balls. But I do love other sort of dough balls- Gulab Juman, doughnuts and zeppole, and with that in mind I created this hodgepodge of flavors and textures—Sweet, butter, salty, floral, milky, soft , crunchy . They are decadent while hot, pillow-y and crunchy the honey dripping down your arm. My husband just kept shoving them in his mouth until I pulled away the bowl. I didn’t mind them at all cold, they were a little damp but still pretty good.
Also note there are no pistachios in my pictures, that's because I forgot I was making this and I ate them. —Aliwaks
Burnt Honey Syrup
- 3/4 cup Orange blossom honey
- 1/2 cup Boiling water
- Pour honey into a saucepan over medium heat
- Eventually it will bubble up
- Remove from heat periodically to check color
- Pay attention to the smell it will smell like baked honey cake, and it will darken from the golden honey color to more of a medium dark brown, sort of mahogany you don’t want it black-
- Also- no matter how good it smells DON’T lick the spoon it is very very very very hot…really don’t even touch it.
- whisk n boiling water, keep warm
- Now you have Burnt Honey Syrup ( PS You could double this and use it for cocktails its wicked good mixed with Bourbon on the rocks a few drops of bitters maybe a strip burnt orange zest-, PPS I live in Maine now and can say things like “Wicked Good”)
Ricotta Fritters & Topping
- 1 cup Ricotta, Whole Milk- Drained if very wet homemade or not
- 2 Eggs (Large)
- Caviar from 1 scraped vanilla Bean
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Orange blossom water
- tablespoons Orange Zest
- 1 teaspoon Ground cardamom
- 3/4 cup AP Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup Chopped, roasted pistachios
- 1 tablespoon Orange zest
- 2 teaspoons Flaked sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Bee pollen
- Vegetable Oil for Frying
- Whisk eggs together well
- Whisk ricotta, vanilla, orange flower water, sugar, orange zest into eggs
- Sift together: flour, salt, baking powder, cardamom
- Mix the wet into the dry
- Let sit @ 15 minutes to settle
- Mix together: Other orange zest, pistachios, salt, bee pollen & sugar and set aside
- Heat vegetable oil to 350- Ok I’ll tell you right now I am not a frequent fryer, and to that end I didn’t even have enough oil in the house to fry in my dutch oven so I used a tiny saucepan (see pic) half filled with oil so it was about 4 inches deep. I did that because even though I don’t fry a lot now, I used to in a pro kitchen so I’m comfortable taking risks, also its possible I’m just a little bit stupid. I don’t even have a candy thermometer…
- IF you are like me, you will know the oil is hot enough when a cube of bread browns in 45 secs. If it browns faster it is too hot, if it browns slower it is not hot enough. Oil is not self-regulating, it can get hotter, and it will unless you are using a very good FRYER . Pay attention you may need to lower the flame/heat on your stove. You want a constant temp of 325, any hotter and outside will cook too fast.
- Drop small dollops a scant Tablespoon more or less, I used an actual teaspoon, you know like an eating spoon- they may not look like lovely little rounds but the will get there the oil will round them out, I am sure there is a scientific reason for this but I don’t know what it is, it may have something to do with centrifugal force.
- Don’t crowd the pan you want them to have room to bob around, I could get like 3- 4 in at one time, flip them over when brown enough- remove with a slotted spoon and set on a rack over a sheet pan. ( Of it is cold in your kitchen keep them in a warm oven)
- Once they are all done and while still warm, drench them in warm honey syrup, then sprinkle with Orange/Pistachio/Salt etc and eat them immediately, if you were looking to serve these in any way other than standing in your kitchen shoving hot honey covered fritters in you maw, you could serve the honey & the topping in ramekins for dipping like a civilized person. It’s good either way, maybe better when messy.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Honey