The Christmas holidays may be just memories now as we move into a brand new year, but most of my favorite holiday memories always seem to revolve around family and food. Many different regions in Italy celebrate the holidays with some type of fried pastry, whether it is sweet or savory.
My husband’s family always had savory frittelle (fried bread balls). They would stuff some with cauliflower, some with baccala, and leave some plain. Every Christmas, I used to always make struffoli, small fried balls that you shape into a cone and drizzle with honey although I admit I haven’t made them for a few years.
This year, my daughter requested that we make sweet frittelle, and after looking through my recipes, I decided to make the ones with apples that I used to love eating when we lived in Milan. These frittelle di mele are very popular in northern Italy, and we first tasted them at one of the Saturday markets we often frequented outside of Milan. They can also be found being enjoyed across Italy during carnivale in February.
These fried crisp apple treats consist of a very light yeast batter covering a thin slice of apple that is quickly fried golden brown and served with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. To keep the frittelle light and crispy, do ensure your oil is at the right temperature (375 degrees F.)
These fried treats are best eaten hot and will become soft if left too long. Any good tasting apple will work for these fritters; my favorites are Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apples.
- 1 Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 1 Pinch of Salt
- 1 Cup All-purpose Flour
- 2 Large Apples, Peeled, Cored, & Thinly Sliced
- Canola Oil For Frying
- Powdered Sugar
- Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl with 3/4 cup of warm water along with the sugar.
- Whisk in the egg yolk, salt, and flour into the yeast mixture, then let the batter rest for 25 to 30 minutes until bubbly.
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan over high heat until it reaches 375 degrees F.
- Dip the apple slices into the batter and fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Place the fried apples on a paper towel lined plate to absorb the oil and continue frying all of the apple slices.
- Sprinkle the frittelle with powdered sugar and serve hot.