Italian ricotta is made from whey drained off while making cheese, often a sheep's milk cheese like pecorino. American ricotta is made from a combination of whey, cow's milk and curds. Sheep's milk ricotta from Campania, in Italy, can be mail-ordered from Buonitalia (212-633-9090 or www.buonitalia.com. You can also use a supermarket ricotta to make these crispy fritters. Just drain off any excess moisture before using commercial brands.
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In a large bowl, mix the ricotta with the flour, brandy, granulated sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, egg and salt. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
In a medium saucepan, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 300° on a candy thermometer. Without crowding, drop tablespoons of the batter into the hot oil and fry over moderate heat until golden brown and cooked through, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Drain the fritters on a rack set over a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining batter. Dust the fritters with confectioners' sugar and serve hot or warm with the Blood Plum Puree.
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