CARNIVAL FRIED PASTRIES
Ingredients for the dough:
500g PLAIN FLOUR (=17,64oz=4 cups)
50g SUGAR (=1,76oz=¼ cup)
20g unsalted BUTTER (=0,71oz=1⅓ tbsp)
4 EGGS (3 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk)
1 LEMON (only the zest)
80g RUM LIQUOR or GRAPPA (=2,82oz)
about 100g WHOLE MILK (=3,53oz=⅓ cup)
1 pinch TABLE SALT
about 1500g PEANUT SEED OIL (=52,91oz=7 cups)
POWDERED SUGAR to taste
Beat the eggs, then add all the other dough ingredients, keeping milk as the last one. You should add it little by little in order to understand how much milk you actually need: the dough should become smooth and neither too hard, nor too soft. Cover the dough and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
Cut a piece of dough and roll it with a pasta machine: flatten a bit with your fingers or with a rolling pin and insert in the pasta machine between the rollers starting from the larger hole (setting the adjustment knob of the machine to 0). Decrease the thickness step by step and pass through the rollers each time until you get to a thickness of about 2 mm.
Use a pasta wheel to cut many rectangles out of each strip. The size doesn’t matter, what matters is that the longer side should measure more than the double of the shorter one.
Cut a slit in the middle of each rectangle (parallel to the longer side), making sure to leave about 2 cm intact towards the shorter side. The slit will work as an eyelet: insert one edge in the slit and pull it outwards.
Pour peanut seed oil in a high-sided saucepan (about ø 20-24 cm). Do not use steel and make sure to have half pot filled with oil as carnival fried pastries have to be able to float in. Bring oil to a temperature of 170°C (=338°F), then plunge maximum 4 pastries (it really depends on how big you shaped them). Keep turning them with a perforated spoon. Once the pastries brown, drain them with the perforated spoon and lay them on a rack to cool down.
Keep checking the temperature with a kitchen thermometer and make sure it doesn’t increase: if it does, remove the saucepan from the fire to lower it. Keep frying all the pastries as soon as they have been shaped, plunging maximum 4 at a time.
Remove the pastries from the rack and lay them in a tray covered with kitchen paper.
Once cooled down, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Together with carnival sweet fritters, carnival fried pastries are the most traditional Italian Carnival recipe (and for this reason they respond to a variety of different names all over the nation: from “chiacchiere” to “bugie” and from “crostoli” to “cenci”, passing from “frappe”… the name doesn’t matter, what matters is that they are scrumptious!).
Don’t miss them on Shrove Tuesday!
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