If there is one particular food in Croatia that is correlated to Christmas Eve more than any other, it has to be Fritule. They are little golden fried dough balls, easy to make and even easier to enjoy. They usually contain citrus zest and raisins and often are flavored with rum or Croatian "Rakija" or Grappa. Most popular in the Dalmatia region of Croatia, they are considered a traditional Christmas treat, but that doesn't mean you can't make them anytime.
There are many recipes for Fritule, some with potatoes and raising yeast, some with grated apples and then others with yogurt. Most look the same and taste slightly different, depending on the makeup of the ingredients.
We are partial to ones made with yogurt but the key to any Fritule is to eat as many as you can while they are warm !!!
Some might wonder if Rakija (Grappa) or Rum is really necessary for this recipe but there are two (equally important) reasons why Croatians add alcohol to this recipe. One is obviously for flavor but the other reason is, that by adding alcohol, Fritule tend to absorb less fat while cooking. So you get a double points for your addition of Rum or Rakija.
Fritule are super easy to make, which makes them a good candidate to be whipped up whenever the fancy strikes you.
Ingredients for Fritule:
1 cup yogurt
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
2 whole eggs
1/3 of a cup of Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
2 Cups Sifted Flour
2 tablespoons Rakija (Grappa) or Rum
Vegetable oil for frying
Powdered Sugar for sprinkling
Add wet ingredients mixture to flour mixture and whisk until dough is smooth and there are no lumps. If the mixture is too runny, add a little more flour. If it's too thick, add a little milk.
Cover the mixture with aluminum foil or Saran wrap and allow it to rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
Pour oil in a pan, there should be enough oil so Fritule do not touch the bottom when you add them to oil. Heat the oil to 350 degrees.
Dip the spoon into the oil. This helps batter slide off the spoon. Using a soup spoon, grab a little of the prepared mixture, and with the other spoon, push the mixture into the hot oil. One tricky thing about making Fritule is learning how to control the oil temperature. Too hot and the Fritule will be charred, too low and they will be soggy and take on too much oil.
Fry the Fritule until golden yellow, remove them to kitchen paper to absorb excess frying fat.
Sprinkle even with powdered sugar while warm and eat as many as you can !!!
Dobar Tek (Bon Appetit)