Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Thursday, 25th July 2013

Sweet Ricotta Fritters (frittelle di ricotta) is a traditional Italian favourite typically prepared for Carnevale. They’re very similar to the French beignets. During Carnevale festivities it would be difficult not to succumb to the temptation to enjoy these sweet fried pastries because not only does every bakery and pastry shop prepare trays upon trays of fritters varying in flavour and textures street vendors prepare them too.

Photo of Sweet Ricotta Fritters dusted with confectioners' sugar and drizzled with butter-rum caramel sauce displayed on white rectangle-shaped serving dish displayed in a row, one behind the other.

Can you imagine the aroma of sweet fried pastry lingering throughout the air, intoxicating I’m sure? I know I wouldn’t be able to resist, I’d probably want to try each and every last one of them.

Photo of Frittelle di Ricotta, Sweet Italian Fritters with Jug of milk displayed on blue napkin with white and blue striped straw.

Like other fried desserts they’re best enjoyed warm and on the same day they’re prepared. The recipe I’ve shared makes quite a large batch, about 6-dozen (not that this is a problem, they disappear quickly) but depending on the size of your family it may be too many to enjoy at one time. The fritter dough can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days, I recommend frying them off just before serving.

Photo taken looking down on Sweet Ricotta Fritters drizzled with Rum-Butter Caramel Sauce.

If you’re entertaining you may not want to leave your guests to go and fry pastries but believe me serving warm, freshly made fritters is definitely worth it! (Best part of enjoying them warm is when you open it up, the steam escapes and the tender moist centre is revealed.)

Photo of Ricotta Beignets tumbling our of paper cone onto slate board.

If you’re serving a crowd and you would like to serve all the fritters at the same time, keep the batches warm in 60° C (140°F) preheated oven.

Photo of Butetr-Rum Caramel Sauce in glass displayed with small stack of Ricotta Fritters.

Ricotta is a staple in our house, I use it in so many different dishes, sweet and savoury but my favourite way to enjoy it is slathered on a slice of crusty Calabrese bread. I prefer to buy it fresh from the Italian deli but in some desserts I opt for the prepackaged containers because it usually doesn’t have as much moisture (especially the extra smooth).

Photo of Italian Sweet Fritters dusted with confectioners' sugar piled up on a blue dessert dish.

I recommend using fresh ricotta in these fritters but if you follow my recommendation chances are you may have to adjust the flour either by adding a little more or a little less. I always reserve a couple of tablespoons only adding if needed.

Close up photo of one Ricotta Fritter drizzled with Butter-Rum Caramel Sauce on slate board.

The dough should be soft and sticky (very sticky). Fritters are sometimes referred to as doughnuts but fritter dough doesn’t resemble dough that can be rolled out with a rolling pin and shaped like the typical doughnut. Therefore when I use the term “dough” please don’t mistake it for doughnut dough essentially fritter dough falls somewhere in between dough that can be rolled and shaped and a batter.

Photo taken looking down on rows of Ricotta Fritters.

The only way I can think to describe it is this, place a tablespoon of dough in your hand (no flour) and trying rolling it, if you’re able to roll some of the dough into a small ball and the rest of the dough is sticking to your hands it’s ready to go. If you can easily roll the dough into a ball, the dough is not soft enough, add some milk. Another tip, do not over mix the dough, over mixing will compromise the delicate texture of the fritters.

Photo of Italian Sweet fritters displayed on parchment squares with jugs of milk.

When it comes to dipping sauces or sugars to toss them in, the possibilities are endless. The Kitchn features Executive Chef Ignacio Mattos’ ricotta fritters with sabo, which we refer to in the Abruzzo region as mosto cotto. My parents made mosto cotto (my mom carries on with the tradition) during wine making season and we use it our special Easter cookies, uccelleti (translation – “birds”).

Photo of three Ricotta Beignets drizzled with Butter-Rum Caramel Sauce displayed in a row, one behind the other, on pink and white striped napkin lined with parchment square.

Mosto Cotto, made from concentrated grape must (the grape juice extracted from the first press of a new wine), is a classic ingredient in Abruzzese cuisine. It’s extremely sweet and during times when the price of sugar was too dear mosto cotto was often used as a substitute for sugar.

Close up photo taken looking down on rows of Sweet Ricotta Fritters drizzled with Butter-Rum Caramel Sauce.

Natalie ‘s opted to serve her lemon ricotta fritters with fresh berry jam. And Vera share’s her recipe for honey-drizzled chocolate ricotta fritters. Serving with fruit compotes would be a tasty option too.

Photo of blue dessert dish piled high with Frittelle di Ricotta, Italian Sweet Ricotta Fritters with antique serving tongs.

I chose to go with luxurious and downright sinful when preparing these ricotta fritters dusting them first with confectioners’ sugar and then drizzling with Butter-Rum Caramel Sauce. Most Italian desserts aren’t overly sweet; the same can be said about these fritters. If you prefer a sweeter fritter you can add more sugar but please keep in mind to balance the sweetness of the fritter to the sweetness of the accompaniment or topping.

Close up photo of Ricotta Fritters displayed in rows on slate board.

Happy Tuesday! Photo of Sweet Italian Fritters drizzled with caramel sauce displayed in a row on white rectangle shaped serving dish.

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Dolci Fritti, Eggs, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fried Desserts, Mini Desserts, Pasticcini, Pastries, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Piccola Pasticceria, Recipes, Ricette di Base

Comments (6)

6 Responses to “Sweet Ricotta Fritters with Butter-Rum Caramel Sauce”

  1. Donald @ Tea Time Says:

    Sweet! I love your pictures!

  2. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Thank you so much Donald, my daughter, Liana deserves all the credit, every picture I snap is blurry. Some day I would love to take just one photo that comes out perfect.

  3. Christine Says:

    I’m torn…if I make these I’m sure I will get addicted and eat all of them so I probably shouldn’t but…I really want to try them! Looks like heaven!

  4. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    They’re itty bitty glorious bites Christine, go for it!

  5. Kumar's Kitchen Says:

    these fritters are irresistible but with the sauce they just get addictive…awesome :-)

  6. Lily @ Life, Love, and Cupcakes Says:

    These look wonderful and RIGHT up my alley!

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