Lemon Ricotta Fritters with Lavender Honey Recipe

Lemon Ricotta Fritters with Lavender Honey Recipe
Staff Writer
Lavender
Istock/karpix
Lavender

The batter can be made before dinner, and then it is just a matter of deep-frying the fritters. The reward will be crisp, freshly cooked, melt-in-your-mouth morsels with soft lemony centers, just the thing to dip into fragrant lavender honey. In Provence, the bees that frequent the wild purple-budded bushes growing near their hives make lavender honey. Be aware that this homemade version, infused with lavender flowers, needs to stand for 24 hours before being used. Only your own lavender will do, freshly harvested from the garden. 

Ingredients

For the lavender honey:

  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 24 fresh lavender sprigs, with buds

For the ricotta fritters:

  • 1 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon verbena or mint
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • Fresh lemon verbena or mint leaves, for garnish

Directions

For the lavender honey:

Warm the honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the lavender. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Strain through a sieve into a clean jar.

For the ricotta fritters:

Whisk together the ricotta and eggs, until blended but not quite smooth. Gradually stir in the flour, then fold in the butter, lemon verbena or mint (if using), lemon zest, and salt. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.

Pour enough oil into a large saucepan to come halfway up the sides of the pan. Heat on high until a deep-frying thermometer reads 365 degrees.

In batches, without crowding, drop tablespoons of the batter into the hot oil. Cook, turning once, until the fritters are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a wire skimmer

or slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to the paper towels and keep warm in the oven while making the remaining fritters.

Place a few fritters on each of 4 plates, drizzle with a generous tablespoon of the lavender honey, and sprinkle with the lemon verbena or mint leaves. Serve hot.

Lemon Shopping Tip

Buying fruits in season when they are at the peak of their freshness make for great tasting food and can save you money.

Lemon Cooking Tip

Don’t throw out your overripe fruit – instead blend into a smoothie or salad dressing, add to muffin batter, bake into a cobbler, or boil down with sugar and a little lemon juice to make jam.