This unusual sweet is a delicacy in many different Italian regions, and depending on the geographical area it can be served as a starter, side dish or dessert.
If you travel to Emilia Romagna or Abruzzo, for instance, you’ll find this traditional snack in its savoury version, eaten along with a mixture of fried olive, vegetables and lamb.
In Veneto, instead, the sweet version of this fried pudding is a dessert enjoyed typically around Carnival.
Makes: about 20 pcs | Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 25 mins
- Plain flour: 100 g
- Brown sugar: 50 g
- Milk: 500 ml
- Eggs: 5
- Lemon zest: of about 1 lemon
- Breadcrumbs: as needed
- Peanut oil, for deep-frying
Heat up the milk in a saucepan without bringing it to a boil.
Mix 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, the sugar and a pinch of salt in a deep casserole. Sift the floor and grate the lemon peel; add both to the eggs and mix vigorously.
Once the mixture is homogeneous and without lumps, slowly add the milk and keep stirring.
Place the casserole on the stove over low heat and keep stirring whilst you bring the mixture to a slow boil.
Cook for 5 minutes, then pour the cream onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Use a spatula to even out the cream; the layer of cream should be about 2 cm thick. Leave the cream to rest in a cool and dry place.
Tip: Don’t put the cream in the fridge! The fridge’s humidity would prevent it from solidifying properly.
When the cream is cold, cut it into small cubes.
Beat up the remaining eggs and place them into a small bowl and the breadcrumbs into another small bowl. Heat up the peanut oil in a large frying pan.
Dip each piece of solidified cream into the eggs, then roll it onto the breadcrumbs to coat it evenly, then deep-fry it into the hot peanut oil. Move around the pieces of cream whilst you’re frying them, to make sure they fry evenly.
Remove the pieces of cream from the oil with a skimmer and place them on a shallow plate lined with kitchen paper, which will absorb most of the oil left on the surface. Serve sprinkled with sugar.