CENCI DI CARNEVALE – CARNIVAL FRITTERS
1In a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, granulated sugar, melted butter, eggs, Vin Santo, and orange zest. Mix for 5 to 7 minutes, until the dough begins detaching from the sides of the bowl.
2Remove the dough from the bowl, seal it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3Lightly dust a working surface with flour, roll the dough very thin, almost as if you were making fresh pasta (in fact, in case you have a pasta machine, that would do the trick too; I personally like to work with my old wood rolling pin).
4Use a pastry wheel or a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 5-inch long, 1- inch wide strips.
5In high-sided skillet, add the oil to a level of 2 inches. Heat the oil over high heat until the deep-frying thermometer reads 360 degrees F.
6Fry the strips of dough in batches (the cenci), flipping occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes per batch, until they curl slightly and acquire a golden brown color.
7 Transfer the cenci to a platter lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Dust with the confectioners’ sugar and serve with a glass of Vin Santo.
FRITTELLE DI SAN GIUSEPPE – CARNIVAL RICE FRITTERS
1In a small bowl, combine the raisins, 1 shot of Vin Santo, and enough water so the raisins are covered. Let sit for 30 minutes so the raisins can soften.
2In a 2-quart pot, combine 1 cup of water, the milk, 2 tablespoons of sugar, the butter, and salt, and bring to a boil. Add the rice, reduce the heat to medium-low heat and cook for about 20 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
3Remove from the heat and transfer the rice to a large bowl to let cool. Stir the rice as it cools to keep the grains from sticking to each other.
4Drain the raisins.
5In a large bowl mix the cooked rice, add the flour, egg yolks, lemon zest, the second shot of Vin Santo, and drained raisins. Mix well and cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
6In high-sided skillet, add the oil to a level of 2 inches. Heat the oil over high heat until the deep-frying thermometer reads 360 degrees F. Using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop, add small balls of the rice mixture to the hot oil.
7Move the frittelle around to ensure even frying, about 4 to 5 minutes per batch, and when they are a nice golden brown, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
8Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar in a cereal bowl. When the frittelle have slightly cooled, use your hands to roll them in the sugar until they are lightly dusted.