These are inspired by one of my favourite Sardinian recipes. Seadas, cheese-filled fritters drizzled with honey, used to be served as a second course to tired shepherds who’d spent all day out in the fields. Now, it’s an after-dinner treat that is known all over Italy.
These light, golden fritters are a little bit sweet and a little bit savoury.
- 5 cups (750 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) melted butter
- 1½ cups (375 ml) water, plus more for sealing
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 454 g (1 lb) Pecorino Romano, grated
- Honey, for drizzling
- Olive oil, for frying
- Zest of 1 orange, for garnish
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need an 8 cm (3 in) wide circular cookie cutter with scalloped edges.
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and melted butter, then add water, little by little, working in with your hands, and kneading, until a smooth dough forms. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave to rest while you are getting the filling ready.
2. Combine lemon zest and Pecorino in a bowl.
3. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s 3mm (1/8-inch) thick. Using cookie cutter, cut into rounds. (You should have about 40 rounds. You can re-roll the pastry scraps to use up more of the dough.)
4. Place a generous amount of cheese in the middle of a round, while still leaving a border, then dab or brush the border of the round with a little water. Take another round and lay it carefully over top of first round, pressing the edge down with your finger to firmly seal shut.
5. Fill a large pan with high sides with olive oil until it is 2.5 cm (1 in) high. Heat oil to 175°C (375°F), then carefully drop in 3-4 fritters at a time, frying, turning once, until both sides are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with kitchen paper.
6. Once all the fritters are done, drizzle with a generous amount of honey, sprinkle with orange zest, and serve. Buon Appetito!