Tiny Honey-Covered Fritters: Struffoli

Recipe courtesy Mario Batali
Show: An Italian Christmas with Mario & Giada Episode: An Italian Christmas with Mario & Giada
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 10 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: 30 min
Cook: 20 min
YIELD: 50 to 60 fritters
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon limoncello
  • 4 cups canola oil, for frying
  • 2 cups honey
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  • Candied orange or lemon peel or sprinkles, for garnish, optional
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Directions

In a mixer bowl, combine the flour, egg yolks, eggs, zests, salt, and limoncello and mix well to form a firm dough, 8 to 10 minutes. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When the dough has rested, remove from refrigerator and cut into golf ball-size pieces. Roll each golf ball into a 1/2-inch-thick dowel and cut each dowel into 1/2-inch pieces. Roll each piece between palms into a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Heat the oil in 12 to 14-inch skillet with at least 3-inch sides to 375 degrees F. Drop balls into cover about half of the surface of the oil and cook until dark golden brown. Use a spider or slotted spoon to turn them regularly; they will puff up while cooking. When cooked, remove to a tray covered with paper towels and drain well. This should make at least 5 batches, so be patient.

When all of the struffoli are cooked, heat the honey, lemon juice, and zest together in a wide 6 to 8-quart saucepan until quite warm, about 150 degrees F, and substantially thinner.

Add the struffoli and stir carefully until well coated. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes in the pan, stirring regularly.

Pour out onto a large serving tray in the form of either a pyramid or a ring. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and any other choice of garnish. The struffoli should last a week or as long as your guests allow.
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