Throughout Italy on St. Joseph’s Day, March 19, Father’s Day, celebratory sweets are cooked. In Umbria we have the “Frittelle di San Giuseppe”- Saint Joseph’s fritters.
Fun facts about the origins of St. Joseph’s Day. In addition to its obvious Christian roots, St. Joseph’s day has Celtic origins linked to the solstice, while in our tradition it is also the date that marks the end of the cold season, winter, and the beginning of summer. In some places “Fires of St. Joseph” are lit as propitiators for crops and as an offering to the Saint who suffered the cold in Bethlehem.
In central and southern Italy, we have the delicious zeppole cakes. Legend has it that Giuseppe, in addition to being a carpenter, to support his family he became a frier and peddler of Fritters.
Today we bring you to Umbria with the recipe of our St. Joseph’s fritters, these rice cakes are a specialty that you can enjoy throughout central Italy.
Saint Joseph’s fritters ingredients:
- 250 grams rice
- 1/2 litre milk
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
- grated zest of half a lemon
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 small glass of rum
- 50 grams flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Powdered sugar
- (raisins to taste)
- frying oil
In a saucepan bring the milk to boil adding a pinch of salt and sugar and then stir in the rice. When it is halfway done, leave the rice to cool on a plate.
Break the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites, whip the egg whites until they reach a soft foamy consistency.
Add all the ingredients and the egg yolks to the rice and blend well. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold them into the mixture.
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the mixture in small spoonfuls and cook until golden brown.
Drain the fritters and place them on paper towels.
Serve the St. Joseph’s fritters cold, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and … enjoy your meal!