These fritters were highly anticipated at our house the first week of January; teta (grandma) would make a batch for the feast of Epiphany. I am about a week late. Oh well. I retrieved the recipe from her notes and here it is, slightly adapted: (recipe is the same in Rayess‘ L’art Culinaire Libanais).
These fritters can be ideal for a party: They can be made in advance, they are a conversation piece (especially if you pile them up high on a cake stand), guests can nibble on them, they are easier to make than croquenbouche!(French cream puffs filled with pastry cream and covered with caramel) and much lighter!
INGREDIENTS: This quantity will make enough for 8 people.
- 350 g all-purpose flour
- 250 g boiled potatoes or 1 cup potato flour
- 1 Tablespoon dry yeast (10 g)
- 7 ounces of water (200 ml) or more, in order to obtain a soft dough, thicker than yoghurt (like a pancake batter)
- 1 quart of vegetable oil or grapeseed oil.
- SYRUP about 2 cups.
THE DAY BEFORE or EARLIER THAT DAY, MAKE THE SYRUP.
The syrup can be made even two weeks before and stored in the fridge.
For the syrup, you need:
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- squeeze half a lemon to obtain 2 teaspoons of juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of rose water and 1 1/2 teaspoon of orange blossom water
- Place the sugar, water and lemon juice in a small pan and bring to a boil.
- Boil for about 10 minutes. The syrup is done when you put a drop on your finger and it sticks.
- Add the rose and orange blossom water and let it boil for 10 seconds then remove from the heat and cool.
- Cover and set in the fridge until needed or set aside if using that same day.
NOTE: Try not to cook the syrup too long; otherwise it will be as thick as jello and hard to dip the fritters in. If that is the case, add some water to the syrup to thin it out.
TO MAKE THE FRITTERS:
- Boil a large potato; peel and mash and set aside.
- Proof the yeast in three tablespoons of warm water with a pinch of sugar.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the flours, potato and yeast mixture. Add enough water to get a smooth dough.
- Cover and let it rise in a warm place for two hours.
- Shape small balls by hand and set on a greased cutting board or piece of foil. Place in the freezer a few minutes to make it easier to drop in the hot oil. Another method is to use a pastry bag and squeeze out the dough over the oil in small droplets, cutting each with a knife or scissors. The smaller the ball the prettier! My grandmother made them in the size of tiny marbles.
- Be very vigilant because the hot oil will splatter and burn!
- Heat the oil to 375F and drop the balls of dough in it. Let them turn golden-brown and remove with a slotted spoon.
- Dip them in syrup and remove with a slotted spoon.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
These ouwaymate can also be made with a batter of flour and yoghurt. This batter is easy to make: Use the same weight yoghurt as flour and add a pinch of baking soda. Form a very soft dough and set aside for 30 minutes. Then form little balls, fry and dip in the syrup. These will be a lot softer than the potato dough and will get soggy quickly. Source: Anissa Helou, Lebanese Cuisine.
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