Fritters Italian Fashion

If you like pancakes, this dish is for you. The addition of currants and fruit peel allows this to be eaten almost like a cookie. Easy to do; pleasing to the palate.

18th Century

Boil three or four ounces of rice very tender in milk; when it is pretty thick add a little salt, fine sugar to sweeten it according to taste, some preserved orange flowers, a little rasped lemon peel, a handful of flour, four eggs, three ounces of currants, and three good apples, peeled and minced; then put this preparation into hot lard with a spoon, each fritter to be about the bigness of a large nut; fry them of a good color, drain them upon a sieve, and strew a little fine powder-sugar over them, and serve them up as hot as possible.

Dalrymple, George, “The Practice of Modern Cookery,” 1782.

  • Note: since orange flowers are almost impossible to get, you may simulate that flavor by adding a teaspoon of finely chopped candied orange peel or leave it out altogether as you please.
  • 21st Century

    • 3 oz. white rice
    • 1 cup milk or cream
    • ½ cup water
    • Grated peel of one lemon
    • 2 medium sized apples
    • 3 oz. dried currants or raisins
    • 3 oz. flour
    • 3 eggs
    • ½ cup sugar
    • Powdered sugar for glazing
    1. In a saucepan, cook the rice in milk and water until thick and soft, stirring it frequently.
    2. In a mixing bowl, whip the eggs until light and add the sugar and flour to make a nice batter.
    3. Then add the cooked rice (cooled to room temperature) to the batter.
    4. Blend in the currants, apples and lemon peel and mix together very well.
    5. Drop this mixture by spoonfuls the size of a silver dollar into a frying pan of hot oil or lard. Fry them to a light brown color.
    6. Dust them lightly with powdered sugar and glaze them with a kitchen torch or on a cookie sheet under the broiler in your oven.
    7. Serve while still hot.

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    15 Responses to “Fritters Italian Fashion”

    1. January 24th, 2013

      mitch says:

      I just want to make sure the rice to be used is not the instant kind, but actual regular cooking rice. Is there a particular type thats recommended?

      • February 4th, 2013

        Historic Foodways says:

        Good question. You are correct that we don’t want the instant rice. It doesn’t have to be any artisan type rice, so any long-cooking rice will do. Appreciate the observation.
        Dennis Cotner

    2. January 27th, 2013

      Christine Hansley says:

      Hi Foodways Crew,
      I bet this recipe would be good with cranberries.
      Thanks for the great work you do.

    3. January 28th, 2013

      Frank says:

      Thanks for sharing 18th century cooking from continental Europe that found it’s way to colonial America. Since there were very few Italians in North America in colonial times, as an Italian-American I enjoy CW’s culinary reflections of many American’s ancestors who weren’t founders!

    4. January 29th, 2013

      Lady Anne says:

      They wouldn’t have had instant rice “way back when”. I used regular old long grained rice, and these were very tasty. We have a friend who is gluten intolerant, so I’ll experiment with some other types of flour to see if I can make these for him.

    5. February 4th, 2013

      Lisa Hrinko says:

      I’m thinking these would be lovely served with the previous pork dish and the left over fritters would be great for breakfast the next day!

    6. February 7th, 2013

      mitch says:

      Thanks Dennis!

      Obviously they wouldn’t have quick rice back then Lady Anne, but the recipe has been modernized, and we do have it now : )

    7. February 9th, 2013

      Steve the Teacher says:

      Tried this recipe this morning but only had instant brown rice… so I used it. Made pancakes too as my children had a sleepover last night…Guess what? All the kids went crazy for the fritters and hardly touched the pancakes! Thanks CW and the kitchen crew.. love the site.

    8. February 14th, 2013

      Lacey says:

      Would the addition of orange flower water also suffice in place of the flowers themselves? Thanks.

      • February 19th, 2013

        Historic Foodways says:

        Although it is natural to think they could be used, it would take a great amount of flowers to achieve that. Orange flower water is a distilled concoction that concentrates the flavor of the orange flowers. The same amount of orange flowers for that kind of flavor would most likely alter the texture and consistency of the batter. Appreciate the questions, they help us help you. Keep ’em coming!
        Dennis Cotner

    9. March 12th, 2013

      Angela says:

      I finally got around to trying this recipe and the 1st time i did it i found that the fritters were way to sweet for me. So the next time i just reduced the sugar level by half and added strawberries instead as these kind of diluted that sweet taste i was getting. Have to say that they were lovely.

    10. March 12th, 2013

      lisa says:

      what is the correct conversion in cups for 3 ounces of rice?

    11. August 21st, 2013

      Lovely recipe! I have tried it myself last evening, thanks! Looking for some new recipes from you=)

    12. October 22nd, 2013

      Greg Linko says:

      We made them for breakfast one morning. Used lemon extract instead of the peel. Not much maybe 1/8 tsp. They were great. Keep the recipes coming. Maybe can you do one for Welsh Rarebit.

    13. April 16th, 2016

      Gina says:

      I just made these and they are very good. The first few bites, I wasn’t so sure how much I liked them. As I finished the first fritter, I was hooked! I didn’t have raisins or currants, so went without – maybe their addition would’ve made the difference in my first bites?

      Thanks for the recipe!

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