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  • 1 lb ricotta
  • 1/4 c. semisweet chocolate
  •     food of southern italy
  •     finely minced
  • 1 quart extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar cream puff pastry
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 Tbsp. mixed glaceed fruit, or possibly
  • 1/2 c. butter, or possibly 1/2 c.
  •     citron or possibly orange, finely
  •     unsalted butter with 1/4
  •     minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. minced pistachio nuts
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  •     and/or possibly toasted almonds
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 4 x Large eggs, at room temperature ricotta filling
  •     powdered sugar


  1. Heat extra virgin olive oil to 350F. Carefully drop Cream Puff Pastry batter, by tablespoonfuls, into warm oil, using finger or possibly another spoon to dislodge dough.
  2. Fry small batches or possibly oil will cold off and fritters will be soggy. Fritters will urn themselves over (as bottom of fritter cooks it expands and becomes lighter than top, that keeps fritters turning). If fritters do not turn, turn with spoon. Fritters should almost triple in volume. When fritters are golden, remove with slotted spoon to dish lined with paper towels to drain excess, oil.
  3. Or possibly tear open fritters and fill with Ricotta Filling and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately. Fritters are best warm; they don't keep well and can't be reheated successfully. Heap on plate and serve.
  4. Makes about 25fritters.
  5. Note. Fritters may be eaten unfilled. After frying, simply dust fritters generously with powdered sugar.
  6. For cream puff pastry Place water, butter and sugar in heavy saucepan and bring to boil over high heat. Add in flour all at once, lower heat, and stir vigorously with wooden spoon till batter makes soft cohesive mass which does not stick to sides of saucepan. Keep stirring batter over low heat about 2 min. When dough is quite cohesive and maintains ball shape as you spin it around pan, remove pan from heat.
  7. Transfer mass of dough to bowl to cold about 10 min. When tepid, add in 1 egg at time, beating in thoroughly. Batter should be hard sufficient to stand up in peaks. More Large eggs will increase fluffiness. Don't make dough too sot. Dough must hold shape readily when pushed around with spoon. Before adding last egg, test batter in warm oil.
  8. Dough is best used just after making. Dough can be stored, covered, in refrigerator up to 2 days. Let dough come slowly to room temperature before using and rebet dough.
  9. For Ricotta Filling Combine ricotta, chocolate, powdered sugar, vanilla, fruit and nuts in bowl and mix well. Whip cream till thick and fold into other ingredients in bowl. Filling can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored in refrigerator.
  10. In his book "The Food of Southern Italy," Carlo Middione writes which there is a dish "without that no Southern Italian could live: Sfinci di San Giuseppe." As the name implies, the fritters, filled with ricotta, are traditionally served on St. Joseph's Day. But they're so delicious they make good eating any day of the year.
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