I am terrible at making desserts. Really, really bad. Baking is a precise skill, and somehow even when I try to make a brownie mix it doesn’t come out well. My husband is much more willing to experiment on the sweet side. We are having company for Shabbat dinner and while my guests are usually happy to bring dessert, this time I hand off the assignment to my husband. I don’t give him any parameters. He finds a recipe on one of our favorite blogs Kosher Like Me. Holy Pumpkin Fritters are perfect for the night before Hanukkah, which is a holiday traditionally celebrated with fried latkes and sufganiyot.
From Wikipedia: Sufganiyot are widely consumed in Israel in the weeks leading up to and including the Hanukkah holiday.At Hanukkah, Jews observe the custom of eating fried foods in commemoration of the miracle associated with the Temple oil. While potato pancakes (latkes or levivot) are also eaten in Israel, sufganiyot are considered a more “Israeli” Hanukkah treat.
Holy Pumpkin Fritters actually come from another wonderful blog Dinner in Venice, which features Kosher, vegetarian, and gluten free recipes. Many of the recipes are accompanied by an explanation of the origin of the food or Jewish custom, which means that you get some education along with your recipe.
We were ready to make our fritters (okay, not really we…) with pureed pumpkin from our freezer. The pumpkin didn’t freeze well and we ended up with a mealy mess. Fortunately, we had butternut squash on hand. The “pumpkin” fritters came out light, airy, and not overly sweet. Simply delicious.
Frittole di Zucca Barucca by Alessandra Rovati www.dinnerinvenice.com
- 1 lb pumpkin or butternut squash, cleaned and diced small
- 2 eggs
- grated zest of 2 oranges
- ¾ cup of sugar and a pinch of salt
- 1 and ½ cups flour
- ½ package (8 gr) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup Raisins or Sultanas (optional)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts (optional)
- 1/3 cup candied etrog or lemon (optional)
- Olive oil or peanut oil for deep-frying, at least 3 cups or more
- Confectioner’s sugar for decorating
- Plump the raisins in a cup of warm water.
- Chop the candied etrog or lime or lemon.
- Place the diced squash in a large platter and cover almost completely, leaving a small opening for the steam to come out, and microwave on high for 10 minutes or until very tender.
- Beat the eggs in a food processor with the sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange zest; add the cooked squash and process until smooth.
- Drain and dry the raisins, and add them to the mix.
- Transfer to a large bowl and gradually add the flour (sifted with the baking powder), using an electric or manual whisk.
- In a frying pan, heat the olive oil to frying temperature (you can test it by dropping a small piece of bread in the oil: if bubbles form around the bread, the temperature is right).
- Take the batter with a tablespoon, filling it to about ½, and push the batter into the oil with your index finger or a second spoon.
- Fry in small batches until golden all over, turning to cook evenly. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer onto a platter lined with several layers of paper towels.
- Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and serve warm.