Doughnuts are typical of Carnevale in Italy, the famous festival in the days leading up to Lent. Each region, and indeed each family, has its own recipe. In Milan and the Lombardy region, Carnival donuts are called 'tortelli' and they are flavoured with anise liqueur, grappa and lemon zest.
1 pinch salt
70g unsalted butter
220g plain flour
50g caster sugar
50ml anise liqueur
3 tablespoons grappa
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 eggs, separated
lard for deep frying
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Directions Preparation:10min › Cook:25min › Extra time:3hours › Ready in:3hours35min
In a saucepan bring water, salt and butter to the boil. Remove from heat and add flour. Stir well.
Set back over medium heat. Stir well and cook until the dough starts to come away from the sides of the pan.
Remove from heat and add sugar, anise liqueur, grappa and lemon zest. Stir well and let the dough cool to room temperature.
Beat the egg yolks into the cooled dough until well mixed. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let rest for 3 hours.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the dough till no white streaks remain.
Heat the lard in a heavy saucepan or deep fryer. Form balls the size of golf balls and deep fry in the hot lard, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Serve straightaway.
Lard is traditionally used to fry Carnival doughnuts. However you can replace it with vegetable oil if desired.