Homemade Fritters


(“Sfinge Casarecce” – “Minni ri Vergini”)

 

In Sicily there are thousands of different types of batters to make the homemade “Minni di Vergini”.
My mother made these delicious delicacies not for any special occasion, only if she was in the mood and had the time to make them.
She pleased everyone making these light tasty fried dough dessert, and she was pleased with the compliments and favorable comments each one of us made to her about the Minni di Vergini”.
A special delight was when she added to the batter a chunk of primosale, a fresh mild cheese or a piece of goat ricotta: it was a real treat!... 
Two other recipes are following my family recipe: one of them the egg batter which is the simplest, it absorbs very little oil and it is light and tasty. 
The other is easy to make and uses few ingredients.

 

My family recipe:

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil or ¼ lb. butter at room temperature
  • 1 oz. of baker’s yeast or 2 packages of dry yeast
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 yolks
  • 2 (additional) cups of flour

 

Also have handy extra flour and milk.

 

PREPARATION

 


Over a low heat, in a small sauce pan combine milk and oil or butter; just warm mixture, do not boil.
Combine and blend in a large bowl: the yeast, the cup of warm water, sugar and salt. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well. 
Add milk mixture and beat with a whisk until mixture is without lumps.
Set on the side and cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, keeping it in a warm place for 15 to 30 minutes, until the dough rises and almost doubles in volume.
Still using the whisk, mix in the eggs, yolks and add the remaining 2 cups of flour, a little at a time, making sure there are no lumps in the batter.
Add extra flour or milk, a little at a time to obtain the right consistency.
The thickness of the batter should have a sticky consistency thicker than muffin batter; if spooned out it should not drop off easily from the spoon. 
Cover and set on the side for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

 

The Frying 
In a large and deep pot, or in a deep fryer, preheat some vegetable oil to 350 degrees and test temperature by dropping into oil a bit of the batter.
If come up fast the oil is ready.  
To drop off into the oil the minni di vergine mix, use a trigger ice cream scoop or with a tablespoon form a walnut size ball and with the help of another spoon drop into the deep fryer: my mother used her fingers.  
Do not overcrowd fryer.
Turn the fritters with tongs to evenly cook them and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with granulated sugar and cinnamon or a mixture of sugar, cinnamon and dark cocoa.

To make cheese or ricotta fritters drench into the flour a chunk of cheese or ricotta and dip into batter, covering on all sides, and drop into hot oil.

 


Egg Batter Sfingi

 

In a large bowl, beat with a whisk:
3 Eggs until whites and yolks are blended. Add ½ lb. flour a little at a time.
Beat it until mixture is without lumps.
Set aside covered for about half hour.
Follow the above frying directions.

 

Water or Milk Batter Sfingi

 

Combine in large bowl:

  • 2 Cup of Flour
  • ½ Cup of milk or water
  • 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of Marsala wine
  • Add 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda or 1 oz. of yeast, salt to taste and beat with a whisk until mixture is without lumps.

 

Set aside covered for a few minutes.

Follow the above frying directions.