Lemon-Ricotta Fritters with Lemon Curd

The batter for these cloudlike fritters is flecked with lemon zest for a flavor that's subtle rather than sharp. A side of cool, satiny lemon curd for dipping reinforces the citrus theme -- and almost upstages the main event.

  • Servings: 8
Lemon-Ricotta Fritters with Lemon Curd

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2008

Ingredients

For the Curd

  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the Fritters

  • 4 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese, drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions

  1. Make the curd: Prepare an ice-water bath. Combine yolks, granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon, 9 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and add butter, stirring until it melts. Immediately strain through a fine sieve into a nonreactive bowl. Set bowl over ice-water bath, and place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour (or up to 3 days).

  2. Make the fritters: Heat oil in a medium saucepan to 350 degrees. Sift flours, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl.

  3. Mix together eggs and granulated sugar in a large bowl until just combined. Add ricotta, lemon zest, and vanilla, and stir until well combined. Add flour mixture, and stir until smooth.

  4. Using an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, carefully drop a few balls of dough into oil. Cook, turning 2 to 3 times, until golden brown on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes total. Adjust heat as necessary to maintain temperature of oil. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough. Place on a plate, and dust with confectioners' sugar. Transfer curd to a serving bowl, and serve with fritters.

Cook's Notes

Do not crowd the pan; cook only a few fritters at a time. They taste best when served immediately after frying.

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