Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pumpkin Fritters with Rosemary and Cheese

Pumpkin Fritters

There's not a rule against eating pumpkin any time of the year, but like a lot of people I gravitate toward it in the fall.  I bookmarked this recipe months ago and imagined what it would look and taste like.  Then I realized before cooking it that reality wasn't matching up with my imagination.  I had pictured these fritters as golden, crusty orbs, but it sounded like they were meant to be pancake-shaped.  Well, I just couldn't let go of the image in my head, so I changed up the recipe.  It makes more sense to follow a recipe that's tried and true, and for health reasons one that's pan-fried rather than deep-fried, but sense doesn't always get through to me.

Pumpkin Fritter closeup

I increased the amount of baking powder in the recipe to help the fritters puff up, and substituted rosemary for the parsley because I thought it sounded more flavorful.  The half-inch of oil in the recipe became a few inches in a saucepan for deep-frying.  I scooped tablespoons of dough into the oil, and watched them fry up golden.  Like doughnut holes, they will flip in the oil on their own when one side is done.  In the end, I had my golden fritters -- crispy outside, flecked with rosemary, cheesy inside and very moist because of the pumpkin.  Vision fulfilled.  Will I make them again?  Probably not, because I don't deep-fry much and I got them out of my system.  But maybe I'll give the original recipe a whirl next.

Tomatoes

On a side note, my backyard tomato crop is still going!  These are Brandywines, an heirloom tomato.  We've made and eaten a lot of fresh salsa in the past two months.  I also used them in this recipe for Baked Orzo with Eggplant, making no changes except substituting ditalini for the orzo, and basil for the oregano because that's what I have in my garden.  That dish was so good, I was too busy eating it to snap a photo for you.  But take my word for it, especially you, Jacob.  The mire a poix gives it wonderful depth of flavor, the sauteed eggplant is awesome, and the dish is like a lighter baked ziti that doesn't weigh you down.

Raspberry Muffin Collage

I also found these interesting berries at the farmers market.  They taste like the ordinary darker raspberries but with the tartness toned down.  I tried them in Raspberry Crumble Muffins from Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours, but was disappointed.  So let down that I didn't bother giving them their own post.  There wasn't enough crumble topping or raspberry flavor, and it tasted like a corn muffin with a strangely light interior structure.  Not awful, but not worth making again either.

Back to those pumpkin fritters . . .

Pumpkin Fritters
Adapted from Gina De Palma's Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen
(If you just want the original recipe, it's available here.)

1½ cups fresh pumpkin or butternut squash puree, or canned pumpkin
(These are ultra-moist. For a lighter crumb, you may want to reduce the amount of pumpkin.)
2 large eggs
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp kosher salt
¾ cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
Finely ground black pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil for deep frying

Fill a heavy saucepan with a few inches of the oil, and heat it to 340° over medium-low heat, using a candy or frying thermometer to monitor the temperature. If it overheats, turn off the flame and let it cool down. While it is heating, prepare the fritters.

In a medium bowl, stir the pumpkin puree with the eggs. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin puree, and add the grated cheese, rosemary, and black pepper. Stir just until it comes together; do not overmix.

When the oil comes to temperature, scoops tablespoons of dough into the oil, being careful not to splash the boiling oil onto yourself. Fry about 6 fritters at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Set a timer for 2 minutes to go off from the time you drop the first fritter into the oil. The fritters will flip themselves in the oil when one side is done, but if one fails to flip, gently turn it over.

When the 2 minutes is up, use a spider strainer to move the fritters to a plate lined with paper towels. Let the oil come back up to 340° before frying the next batch.  Serve hot.

25 comments:

  1. wow, i loved fried anything...these looks awesome! and those tomatoes look beautiful!

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    1. Thanks! I'm going to miss having homegrown tomatoes.

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  2. Pumpkin fritters! Oh that sounds really yummy. I didn't know pumpkin is a fall thing until I came here, so to me, I eat all year around...but "pumpkin" to me (or Japanese) is kabocha though, and it's a little different from what we call pumpkin here. I love your pictures of these fritters. No one can resist these from your photos! I know I'll be eating this like non stop for sure!

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    1. Oh and the berries are pink color?? That's so interesting!!

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    2. Thanks! Yes, they were a very light pink. I love seeing new things at the farmers market. Last week I saw tiny, striped eggplants.

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  3. They look absolutely lovely! I eat loads of pumpkin in autumn, I shall add these to my repertoire.

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  4. Those tomatoes are beautiful! I'm beginning to lose hope on mine--I'm getting lots of cherry tomatoes, but the rest are still green. These fritters look absolutely amazing. I'm obsessing over everything pumpkin-related right now and it's nice to see a savory recipe for a change!

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    1. Our Early Girl tomatoes aren't doing much of anything anymore, but these Brandywines want to keep going. Yes, I think there should be more savory pumpkin recipes! I've got a hankering for soup.

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  5. I have eaten pumpkin in many different ways but not as fritters. These fritters look fantastic....so crispy!!!

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    1. Thank you! You'll have to try them. The outside is nice and crispy. You might want to reduce the amount of pumpkin for a lighter inside, since the pumpkin puree and cheese make it rich and moist.

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  6. Are those salmon berries? :D They look a lot like a wild berry that grows all over the coastal area here in Oregon. Delicious!

    Those pumpkin fritters look amazing, I'm definitely gonna try them this fall. <3

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    1. The folks at the farmers market told me they were raspberries. They tasted like raspberries with the tartness dialed down.
      Thanks!

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  7. I made these tonight and reduced the pumpkin to 1 cup (which was what I had leftover after making a pumpkin muffin recipe) and they are still very moist inside. I am wondering i9f substituting coconut flour for part of the regular flour might work well here, since coconut soaks up so much moisture, so I will try that next time. Otherwise, fabulous aroma and flavor and really unusual - my husband and I both loved these.

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    1. Thank you for trying these and for letting me know! Yes, they are very moist inside -- reducing the egg to 1 egg may also help. If you try it again with coconut flour, I'd love to know the results.

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  8. I made these fritters tonight with 1 cup of pumpkin (which is what I had left after making a batch of pumpkin muffins), and they were still very moist inside. I was thinking next time I might substitute coconut flour for part of the regular flour, since coconut flour is very absorbent. Otherwise, fabulous aroma and flavor - hubby liked them too!

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  9. We tried this and they turned out just "okay." Not good, not bad but I felt they were missing ingredient and an lacking an identity...I wonder if it's something we did wrong. I love the IDEA and all the ingredients but it just didn't work for us. I'm going to try and doctor it up some tomorrow and fry the rest of the batch up for my guests.

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    1. Sorry it didn't come out like you'd hoped. Maybe the pumpkin-parmigiano-rosemary combination doesn't work for you?

      I wonder if some freshly grated nutmeg might fill in that missing something. You might try different herbs or cheeses, or maybe some ground cayenne or some minced chili pepper in the batter. Hope something works out!

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  10. GREAT idea Shirley! I still have time to experiment and if all fails, I'll just sprinkle them with cinnamon and powdered sugar or something :) Thanks so much!

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  11. We fried them up today and they were GREAT!!!! I think they just needed to sit overnight and have the flavors really meld with each other. They were a total hit! I threw a "Pumpkinpalooza Party" with all pumpkin foods. Thanks again!!!

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    1. Awesome! I'm so glad they worked out. Did you doctor them up at all? Pumpkinpalooza Party sounds amazing.

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  12. Great Post! These little morsels look delicious! I also like making recipes my own like this. Just discovered your blog and it's great!I enjoy the conversational writing ( much like my own!)

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  13. Replies
    1. Thanks for letting me know. So glad you enjoyed them!

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