Italian Orange Frittelle are deep fried dough balls with a soft cake like interior and crispy outer layer. These little morsels are partially made with finely ground almonds, scented with orange mandarin zest and the warmth of vanilla.
Lately, I’ve been loving these sweet mandarins. And in my home they’re purchased by the bag full whenever the super market stalls are brimming with these citrus fruits.
Usually, I simply peel them and enjoy these delectable fruits from fresh.
However, I find their grated peel adds a lovely citrus scent to any baked goods. You can squeeze out the fresh juices and use them in your favourite recipes.
There’s no waste here at all but simply another way of making use of this lovely fruit.
Frittelle, Italy’s Carnival Food
For all the many ways Italy celebrates Carnival season you’ll probably have just as many varieties of deep fried fritters.
The festivities during this period start in February and are truly extravagant. It’s a procession of elaborate floats and costumes with singing and dancing.
The sweets are just as rich as the costumes worn by those celebrating and usually consist of deep fried morsels of goodness.
Growing up, Castagnole Fritte, made with leavened dough were always enjoyed right up until the Easter holiday. I sometimes fill mine with whatever flavoured jam I may have on hand.
Another popular Italian fritter in my home are Zeppole, Ricotta Doughnuts. These are so incredibly light considering the ricotta in the mix.
Today we’re making neither a leavened based fritter nor a ricotta one.
They’re really quite simple and don’t require much hands on time.
These Italian Orange Frittelle stand apart from other fritters as they have finely ground almonds in the mix.
How to make orange scented sugar
I’ve taken an extra step of pulsing the sugar together with the orange mandarin zest. Easy right?
It takes one minute of your time and yields such a lovely perfumed sugar concoction.
You’ll have a wonderful citrus aroma in every bite!
Tip Of The Day
Here’s a tip I learned from Stefan’s Gourmet Blog.
Stefan gave me an excellent tip on how to accidentally prevent making nut butter when grinding nuts.
All you need to do is simply add sugar when grinding the nuts!
Enjoy these fritters while still hot with a dusting of powdered sugar and your favourite hot beverage.
You’ll find them simply addictive!
If you make this recipe remember to tag @marisasitaliankitchen on Instagram so I can see your creation!
Italian Orange Frittelle
Ground Almond Mixture
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Orange Sugar Mixture
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon mandarin orange zest
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 ounces mandarin orange juice freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour sifted
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- a pinch of salt I used fine sea salt
- vegetable oil for deep frying
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar for dusting over the fritters
- In a food processor, pulse together the almonds with 1 teaspoon of powdered sugar until very fine in texture.
- Transfer the almond mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
- In the same processor pulse together the granulated sugar with the mandarin orange zest.
- In a large bowl beat together the orange sugar mixture with the egg, orange juice and vanilla extract until combined.
- Add in the ground almond mixture, the sifted flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt and stir the mixture until well combined.
- In a large heavy pot or a dutch oven, pour in enough oil to reach 2 inches high and heat to 350 degrees F. Preferable using a candy thermometer for accuracy.
- Use a 1 1/2 inch cookie scoop or 2 small spoons to drop bits of dough into the hot oil. Don't overcrowd the fritters.
- Fry the fritters for about 1 1/2 minutes turning often with a slotted spoon until they are puffed up and have an all around golden brown colour in appearance.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the fritters from the pot and allow to drain on a paper lined cookie sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining batter.
- When finished frying the remaining frittelle, dust the fritters with powdered sugar and serve while still warm.