These are highly addictive. Lighter than a donut and similar to a sweet and airy fritter, these sourdough zeppoles will give any carnival food stand a run for their money. The batter includes creamy ricotta and is lightly sweetened with a touch of sugar and vanilla extract. Once fried, they will become perfectly crisp on the outside; you’ll have to refrain yourself from gobbling up the whole batch. For best results, make sure that your ingredients are at room temperature before frying.
- Yield: 3 dozen
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (125 g) whole milk ricotta, at room temperature
- ½ cup (120 g) leftover starter
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp (10 g) baking powder
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 6 cups (1.4 L) vegetable oil, for frying
- Powdered sugar, to serve
- Whisk the eggs, ricotta, leftover starter, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon until just incorporated. The batter will be thick.
- Pour the oil into an 8-inch (20-cm) pot. Warm over medium-high heat until it reaches about 360 to 365°F (182 to 185°C). To test whether the oil is hot enough, drop a teaspoon of batter into the pot. If it floats to the top and is surrounded by small bubbles, it’s ready. If not, allow the oil to come to temperature and try again.
- Using a level tablespoon or mini ice cream scoop, gently lower a few spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil. Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until puffed, deep golden brown, and cooked through in the center. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate with a large slotted spoon. Adjust the heat if necessary, then finish frying the rest of the batter. Note: To prevent the batter from sticking, dip your tablespoon or mini ice cream scoop into the hot oil in between portions.
- To serve, dust the zeppoles with powdered sugar while still warm. Enjoy right away.