Lemon Ricotta Fritters

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  • Ricotta fritters will become your all time favorite fritters recipe. Smooth and rich, they are filled with cheese and a subtle lemon and sage. Serve with garlic aioli for the perfect dipping sauce!

    Lemon Ricotta Fritters are a savory fritter recipe. Smooth and rich, they are filled with cheese and a subtle lemon and sage. Served with garlic aioli! #frittersrecipe #ricottafritter www.savoryexperiments.com

    What are Fritters?

    Ricotta Fritters weren’t even on my radar until one day they were brought to my attention by hubby, kind of. Hubby travels for work and saw this recipe in one of the airline magazines on a flight.

    I’d heard of all types of sweet and savory fritters, even cheese fritters, but never ricotta, which is odd because we both come from Italian families. In Italian, these are called Polpette di Ricotta. Polpette is actually a meatball, so these are ricotta meatballs.

    In the states, we call anything that is a breaded fried dough, a fritter, which loosely translate to “a fry”. Broccoli fritters, zucchini fritters, corn fritters and even sweet apple fritters are among the most popular.

    Lemon Ricotta Fritters are a savory fritter recipe. Smooth and and rich, they are filled with cheese with subtle lemon and sage. Served with garlic aioli!

    What You’ll Need

    Other than the ricotta cheese, the ingredient list is quite easy.

    • Whole milk ricotta– Brands contain different water levels. If you open it up and it looks a little soupy, you might want to consider draining it first, like you would for cheesecake or cannoli dip, or it might require additional flour when you are making the batter.
    • Eggs & All-Purpose Flour- These are super important to give the fritters structure. We have not experimented in using alternative flours or egg products.
    • Baking powder- Baking powder is a chemical that makes little air bubbles in the batter, making them light, airy and fluffy. For even fluffier fritters, let the batter rest for 15 minutes to let it activate and do its job.
    • Dried rubbed sage– Make sure this is fragrant and hasn’t lost its potency. Fresh sage is also an option.
    • Coarse kosher salt– Helps to accentuate natural flavors and balance the acidity.
    • Lemon juice & zest– These two elements provide vastly different lemon flavor profiles. The zest is a clean, lemony flavor, while the juice is acidic and punchy.
    • Pecorino romano cheese– Any hard Italian cheese, like parmesan cheese or parmesan reggiano, can be used. Please use a freshly shredded cheese, not a “shaker cheese” which won’t melt.
    • Oil – Any high smoke point oil for frying can be used. The most popular are vegetable oil, canola oil and grapeseed oil. You’ll need enough for 1-inch deep in the frying pan of choice.
    • Flaky Sea Salt– While the fritters are still piping hot and tacky, top with a flaky salt like Maldon or Jacobson. Some folks also like a dusting of freshly cracked black pepper.
    Lemon Ricotta Fritters are a savory fritter recipe. Smooth and and rich, they are filled with cheese with subtle lemon and sage. Served with garlic aioli!

    How to Make Ricotta Fritters

    Making fritters sometimes feels intimidating, but after you get the hang of it and master the correct texture of the batter, it is really an easy recipe.

    1. In a large bowl, blend the ricotta and eggs until fully blend, mixture will not be smooth. If your ricotta is a reduced fat or looks watery, consider draining it before making. Mine was quite solid and did not require draining.
    2. Whisk or sift together the dry ingredients to evenly combine them. Gradually add them to the ricotta mixture, and then fold in the lemon zest and finely grated pecorino romano cheese. If the batter is loose and soupy, add more flour. It should be fairly stiff; slightly more dense than pancake or waffle batter.
    3. Cover and chill the fritter batter for a minimum of 30 minutes or as much as 24 hours. This gives the baking powder time to activate, making itty bitty bubbles in the batter that will fry up as light and airy.
    4. Fill a large frying pan with 1-inch of frying oil and heat to between 350-375°F. I highly suggest using a deep fry thermometer. Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, spoon batter into hot oil. Do not crowd the pan, so working batches, adding the remaining batter as needed.
    5. Use a metal spatula or fry spoon to flip after lightly browned on each side. This process is relatively quick and will only take about 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown, if the oil is the correct temperature.
    6. Remove the hot fritters to a wire rack over a baking sheet. Many recipes will have you drain on paper towels, but this can make the underside soggy. Allowing them to drip and placing in a warm oven keeps them crispy and hot.
    7. Sprinkle with a flakey sea salt before serving with your desired dipping sauce.

    Lemon Ricotta Fritters are a savory fritter recipe. Smooth and and rich, they are filled with cheese with subtle lemon and sage. Served with garlic aioli!

    Dipping Sauces

    This is really a matter of preference. Fritters can be served with no sauce at all and be super tasty. Here are some of our favorites.

    Storage & Freezing

    Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Like many fried foods, they are likely to lose their crispy. We suggest reheating them with an additional quick fry in oil on the stovetop, in an Air Fryer or in the oven. Microwaving can make them more soggy and rubbery.

    Ricotta fritters can be frozen after fully cooked. Place in a plastic bag, getting out as much air as possible, and then store. To cook, place frozen fritters straight into hot frying oil for 2-3 minutes to thaw and brown.

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    Tools

    • Mini food processor – this is my most used kitchen appliance by far. Cheap and easy to clean (dishwasher safe), it will be your new best friend for minced, chopping, salad dressings and more!
    • Metal Slotted Spoon or Fry Spoon – frying can be tricky and you want a utensil that won’t stick to the food or batter, but also won’t melt under the heat.
    • Heavy Bottom Frying Pan – You’ll need this to evenly distribute the heat and not burn while you fry. Cast iron also works.
    • Maldon Sea Salt – when I tell you put this stuff on everything, I’m not kidding. I even travel with it in my purse. Best. Salt. Ever.
    Lemon Ricotta Fritters are a savory fritter recipe. Smooth and rich, they are filled with cheese and a subtle lemon and sage. Served with garlic aioli! #frittersrecipe #ricottafritter www.savoryexperiments.com


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    Lemon Ricotta Fritters are a savory fritter recipe. Smooth and and rich, they are filled with cheese with subtle lemon and sage. Served with garlic aioli!
    Print Recipe
    4.70 from 10 votes

    Lemon Ricotta Fritters

    Lemon Ricotta Fritters are a savory fritter recipe. Smooth and and rich, they are filled with cheese with subtle lemon and sage. Served with garlic aioli!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time10 mins
    Total Time50 mins
    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: fritter recipe, ricotta fritters
    Servings: 24 fritters
    Calories: 134kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola

    Ingredients

    Fritters:

    Instructions

    • In a large bowl or with your stand mixer, blend the ricotta and eggs until fully combined.
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sage and salt. Gradually add to ricotta mixture until combined. Fold in lemon zest and finely grated pecorino romano cheese. Cover and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes or as much as 24 hours.
    • Fill a large frying pan with 1-inch of frying oil. Heat over medium heat until hot. Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, spoon batter into hot oil. Use a metal spatula or fry spoon to flip after lightly browned on each side. This process is relatively quick and will only take about 1-2 minutes on each side.
    • Remove to a wire rack over a baking sheet. You can place in the oven on the "keep warm" setting or 200°F.
    • Sprinkle with a flakey sea salt before serving with your desired dipping sauce.
    • If you've tried this recipe, come back to let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.

    Video

    Notes

    We recommend using a whole milk ricotta cheese. The liquid differs from brand to brand, we used Galbani. Some users have reported needing to use more flour to reach the desired consistency. 
    If you are using a reduced fat ricotta cheese, you may need to drain off some of the liquid. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 134kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 89mg | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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