Fritule – fried batter balls

Fritule with tea and marmalade

I finally made the perfect gluten-free fritule – Croatian fried batter balls made from batter or dough that are usually served in wintertime. In coastal parts of Croatia, fritule are traditionally served for Christmas/Yule Eve, and for Maslenica. There are different versions and this version is using a yogurt-based batter. In a different version, it uses a dough similar to the doughnuts dough, but I learned and therefore cook the batter version. Some say fritule are tipsy dessert because we add one – two tablespoons of rum inside. But rum is used to stop them from drinking oil. It evaporates during frying process. However, you can omit it completely.

Where I got the recipe

I got the recipe for fritule from an Istrian woman who was a friend of my father’s friend. They were hosting the bikers in their small restaurant and made some traditional Istrian dishes. The dessert they made were – fritule. She served them simply rolled in powder sugar. But she said you could serve them with jam, and this is how I prefer to serve them. If you serve them with jam you can omit rolling fritule in powder sugar.

Modification options

The dough is a batter and you can easily adjust it according to your taste. For instance, since I like vanilla I added it. Another addition, if you want to make them smell more like holidays, is cinnamon. And you can always substitute orange zest for lemon zest. Also, you can roll them in powder sugar, cinnamon sugar … You can even make chocolate fritule by subsidizing a part of the flour with cocoa powder. So without further ado, let’s make some fritule!

Needed for Fritule

3/4 cups gluten-free flour,
2 eggs medium size,
pinch salt,
4 Tbsp sugar,
8 Tbsp yogurt,
1/2 tsp lemon zest or lemon paste,
vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla paste,
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp rum (optional)

oil for frying

It took a while to find the correct ratio of the ingredients because gluten-free flour is completely different than the wheat flour which would usually be used. The batter in this version of fritule is similar to the pancake or crepes batter but much thicker. When you pull the whisk out of the batter you should be able to see the trace for 2 seconds. Before starting the batter put the oil in a deep dish to start heating.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl, then add the sugar and yogurt and whisk until combined. Then add lemon zest or paste and contents of vanilla bean or vanilla paste and combine well. If you are using rum in your batter add it now. For adding flour I use a one-hand sieve, so I sieve the flour, salt, and baking powder slowly into the wet ingredients, constantly mixing. When it is well combined, check the thickness. Pull the whisk out of the batter and see if the trail stays for at least 2 secs. Then leave the batter to rest for 5 minutes.

Check the oil temperature. When the oil reaches 350 °F / 175 °C start adding batter to oil. I use 2 tea spoons to form them. Use first spoon to scoop the amount of batter that you need, then use the second spoon to drop the batter to the oil. Make sure that you don’t drop the batter from great height. It should be at most 5 cm height from the oil surface. Sometimes I allow the dough to slightly touch the oil and then simply push it with other spoon.

When are Fritule done and how to serve them

Fritule are done when they are a golden colour. They may first sink into the oil but will soon rise up, like doughnuts. When one side is golden, turn them to fry the other. If you know how to fry doughnuts, this should not be an issue. When they are done put them on a drying rack or paper towel to drain them of excess oil and cool a bit. Then roll them in the powder sugar. If you want, you can serve them with jam.

Serve fritule – fried batter balls with tea or coffee. I like to serve them with green tea and apricot marmalade. Enjoy! 🙂

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