Ricotta Crostoli Recipe
Along with the popular frìtole, crostoli are among the most sought after fried sweet treats during Venice's exciting Carnival time.
These fried ribbons of sweet dough dusted with icing sugar are popular throughout Italy, and they are known by various other names depending on the region that you're in. You can find cenci in Tuscany, frappe in central Italy, bugie in Piedmont, chiacchiere in Lombardy and so on.
The original recipe for crostoli uses butter or lard, however, in this recipe we'll use ricotta cheese instead to make crostoli not so crunchy but soft and tender.
We also substitute one part of plain flour with chestnut flour which is naturally sweet and as such allows us to reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe. Chestnut flour is widely used in Italy and can be bought directly from local producers at speciality food stores. If you cannot find chestnut flour in your local food store you can buy good quality Italian chestnut flour online.
Most recipes for crostoli include a splash of liqueur of your choice such as grappa, rum or amaretto. Be sure to add the grated lemon zest to the dough to give that fresh citrus aroma to the crostoli.
By following our simple and proven recipe, you can prepare these delicious Venetian Carnival sweet treats at home!
COOKS IN: 30 minutes
- 100 g plain flour
- 40 g chestnut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 medium egg
- 80 g ricotta cheese
- 20 g caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon rum
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Pinch of salt
- Sunflower oil for frying
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Sift both flours together with the baking powder into a medium bowl.
- Make a well in the centre and add the ricotta cheese, egg, sugar, salt, grated lemon zest and one tablespoon of rum. Using a fork, begin to whisk the eggs with the rest of the ingredients while slowly incorporating the flour. Knead the dough until it comes together into a smooth ball of dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to rest for 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough with a rolling pin to 0.5 - 1 mm thick. Using a ravioli cutter cut the dough into rectangles (about 10 x 3) cm and make a slice along the centre of each of them.
- Fill 3/4 of a deep, medium-sized skillet with sunflower oil and put it on a medium heat. When the oil is hot (180°C), slip in the first batch of crostoli and fry for about 20 - 30 seconds on one side then flip them over and fry for another 20 seconds. Drain them using tong and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towels.
- Let the crostoli cool to room temperature and then dust them with icing sugar and serve.
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