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.
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.
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.
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 . . .
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.