And the big day has finally arrived. After surviving one year of COVID-19 pandemic, we have got to enjoy another Fat Tuesday.
For those of you following me over the years, Fat Tuesday (which is today) is a special day in the history of Aroma di Cannella and, well before that, in my family traditions. Since I was a kid, I used to do some baking on Fat Tuesday, which is the last day of the Carnival period. Then, when I went to Sweden 7 years ago to do an exchange programme during my Master studies, it happened that I was there on Fat Tuesday. I learnt how to bake the Swedish Carnival semlor (small buns filled with cream) and that’s how Aroma di Cannella was born. Since then, (almost) every year I try to live up to this tradition and bake something on Fat Tuesday.
Well, I have to say that in the past two years I have not been the best example of respecting this tradition because I didn’t do anything for two years in a row. In my defense, I have to say that in both occasions it was a case of force majeure. One year, I was busy getting my PhD, and the other year I was without an oven and in the middle of moving out from my old apartment.
This year, I have no excuses. In addition, we are still working from home and not going anywhere because we are in our third (? lost the count..) partial lockdown due to the COVID-pandemic. Hence, what a better occasion to do some baking on Fat Tuesday?
As I am still in TulipLand and we know that here they have no Carnival culinary tradition whatsoever (for a more recent blog post in English about this, you can read here), this time I opted for another typical, Italian recipe. Actually, I think that this is THE most traditional Venetian Carnival pastry: la frittella, which is a small ball of fried dough with either raisins or other filling.
Now, the purists will have no mercy on me because I am proposing here a recipe of frittelle baked in the oven, instead of fried ones. Well, some of you know that I am not a big fan of frying stuff, so here I do my way (as usual) and post a nice and healthier version of delicious baked frittelle in two variants that are, in my opinion, the best ones: frittelle all’uvetta (with raisins) and frittelle alle mele e cannella (with apples and, ofc, cinnamon).
FRITTELLE (baked in the oven)
For the frittelle (about 80 pieces – trust me, if you are 3-4 people, they won’t last long)
•400 gr baking flour (00)
•80 gr brown sugar
•8 gr vanilla sugar (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
•200 gr almond milk (or regular milk)
•1 lemon zest
•16 gr baking powder
For the frittelle with raisins: 80 gr raisins (previously soaked in water for about 1 hour) + powdered sugar to taste
For the frittelle with apples & cinnamon: 1 apple + cinnamon to taste + powdered sugar to taste
Prepare the frittelle dough
In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugars, then add the lemon zest and milk, and stir well. It’s easier if you use a mixer. Add the flour and baking powder (previously mixed together) one spoon at a time and mix well. Divide the batter in half (should be about 435 gr each) using two bowls. In one bowl, add the raisins, while in the other one add a tsp of cinnamon and the apple chopped into small pieces.
Bake the frittelle
Pour half tbsp of batter per frittella on a silicon baking tin for small, round pastries (diameter 3.5 or 3.7 cm). Bake in preheated static oven 180°C for 9-10 minutes (note that the baking time could vary depending on the oven, so check it out using a wooden toothstick – it has to come out clean). Let the frittelle cool down and then immediately store them into an hermetic food box so to preserve their freshness and texture.
Serve and enjoy!
Spinkle your frittelle with powdered sugar. If you don’t eat them all on the same day (not sure whether it will be the case..), you might want to warm them up a bit before eating.