Ricotta Fritters with Blood Plum Puree

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. (You can also use a supermarket ricotta to make these crispy fritters. Just drain off any excess moisture before using commercial brands.)

Active Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 40 mins
20 fritters

The Blood Plum Puree recipe was created by the late Venis Ewing, who made a conserve by adding walnuts to the plum puree. You can make this with any large, very sweet plum. You can dribble it over poached pears or add it to deglazed game or pork drippings to make a great sauce.


Blood Plum Puree

  • 6 pounds red or black plums, pitted and coarsely chopped

  • 8 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest

Ricotta Fritters

  • 1/2 pound ricotta cheese

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 tablespoons brandy

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • Pinch of salt

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Make the Plum Puree

  1. Puree the plums in a food processor. In a large, heavy pot, mix the plum puree with the sugar and bring to a boil over moderate heat, skimming as necessary. Cook uncovered over low heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Stir the orange and lemon juices and the orange zest into the plums; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes longer. Pour the plum puree into 5 hot sterilized 1-pint jars, stopping 1/4 inch from the top. Wipe the glass rims and close the jars. Set them in a water bath and bring to a boil. Process for 20 minutes.

Make the fritters

  1. 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.

  2. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to 300°F 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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