Today’s recipe comes from the Sicilian town of Trapani, where my mother was born. These are similar, but not the same as the more famous Neapolitan graffe, the dough of which includes potatoes. Graffe in Trapani are like doughnuts, fried and then filled with the same sweet ricotta filling used for Cannoli, Sfinciuni di San Giuseppe, Pesche Dolci, Cassata and many other Sicilian sweets. They are traditionally made with sheep’s milk ricotta, but if you cannot find any where you live, don’t worry… neither can I! Substitute it with cow’s milk ricotta. These doughnuts are soft and airy and almost melt in your mouth when you eat them. I advise you to try and eat them warm… they are amazing! Enjoy them and don’t forget to check out all my other Regional Italian recipes!
Ricotta filled Graffe
How to make a traditional sweet from the Italian town of Trapani: Ricotta filled Graffe.
- 500 gms – 1.1 lbs. ricotta
- 360 gms – 12.5 oz. sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 70 gms – 2.5 oz dark chocolate chips
- 1 pinch salt
- 500 gms – 1.1 lbs. flour
- 50 gms – 1.75 oz. lard
- 50 gms – 1.75 oz. sugar
- 7 gms dry – 2 ¼ tsp yeast
- 250 ml water – 1 cup + more to make batter, lukewarm
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch salt
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- Olive oil for handling the dough
- Icing sugar for dusting
Put all the ingredients (apart from the chocolate chips) in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until smooth.
Dissolve the yeast and half of the sugar in the lukewarm water and set aside to activate.
Sift the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Add the rest of the sugar, lard and salt. When frothy, add the water with the yeast. Knead until it comes together.
Remove the hook and put the paddle attachment. While kneading, add the egg and enough water to get a thick and sticky batter (like in the picture).
Grease your hands with olive oil and make 12 balls the size of small oranges.
Deep fry them at 170°C – 340°F until golden brown. Put them on a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain the excess oil.
When lukewarm cut a slit halfway through the graffe and and fill them with a generous amount of ricotta cream.
Dust some icing sugar on the top and serve
Be gentle when you put the raw graffe in the oil or they may deflate.