5 teaspoons honey (bright floral honeys are best here: orange blossom, thyme, or fireweed)
3/4 cup warm water (about 105°F to 115°F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon orange flower water
Olive and canola oil, for frying
Powdered sugar, for dusting
2 to 3 blood oranges, peeled and cut into segments
1 hr 40 mins
Makes:6 to 8 servings
Fritters are a fitting ending to an all-fried-food menu, or to any meal for that matter. Making the most of winter’s citrus selection, this recipe combines orange juice, blood oranges, and honey, giving these yeasty, light bites a sweet, acidic nip.
1Combine yeast and 1 teaspoon of the honey with warm water in a small bowl. Let sit until mixture starts to bubble, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together flour, orange zest, and salt until combined.
2In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on high until they are glossy and stiff, about 3 minutes; set aside.
3Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add yeast mixture, olive oil, and orange flower water. Gently stir ingredients together until just incorporated.
4Carefully fold in whipped egg whites until just incorporated (be careful not to overmix—the batter will be slightly lumpy). Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave in a warm spot until contents look very frothy and have doubled in volume, about an hour.
5Fill a large heavy-bottomed pot fitted with a deep-frying thermometer with 3 inches of oil (1/2 olive, 1/2 canola) and heat to 360°F over medium heat. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside. Working in batches, drop rounded tablespoons of dough into hot oil. (Don’t worry about making perfect spheres—crunchy little tails trailing off the fritters are part of the fun.)
6Fry until honey-gold, turning as needed with tongs, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to the paper towel–lined baking sheet. Periodically skim any stray bits of dough out of oil. Repeat until all dough has been fried.
7Dust fritters generously with powdered sugar and assemble on a serving plate. Drizzle with remaining honey, scatter blood orange segments on top, and serve.
Beverage pairing:Braida Brachetto d’Acqui, Italy. This wine, which is pink, sweet, and redolent of strawberries and raspberries, is irresistible on its own. Paired with the dessert, it has the sweetness to enhance the fritters, but a different-enough flavor profile to make an intriguing combination.