Each village and town in Dubrovnik and Istria has its own fritule recipe, which claims to be the original and the best. This one is made with potatoes and it works really well. Serve fritule with dried figs and rakja (grape brandy) at the start of a celebration, as they are more of a welcoming dish than a dessert.
- 500 g (about 2) sebago or desiree potatoes
- 55 g (⅔ cup) sultanas
- 60 ml (¼ cup) dark rum
- 1 lemon, rind grated
- 1 orange, rind grated
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 275 g (1¼ cups) caster sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 225 g (1½ cups) plain flour
- 7 g sachet dried yeast
- 80 ml water
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
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.
Standing time 1 hour
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 40 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside. When cool enough to handle, peel and discard skins.
Meanwhile, place sultanas and rum in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and allow sultanas to soak for 20 minutes.
Return the potatoes to the pan and mash with lemon and orange rinds, nutmeg, vanilla seeds and 55 g sugar until smooth. Add eggs, flour, yeast, soaked sultana mixture and water, and stir for 2 minutes or until the mixture forms a smooth, shiny, thick batter; add more water, 1 tbsp at a time, if necessary. Cover and set aside for 1 hour.
Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with oil and heat over medium heat to 180°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Working in batches, drop teaspoonfuls of batter into the oil and fry, turning halfway, for 2 minutes or until golden.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Roll in remaining 220 g caster sugar, to serve.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 13, pg96.
Photography by Derek Swalwell