Ricotta Fritters with Fresh Strawberries

Makes 30 to 40 small fritters

15 ounces whole milk ricotta

3 large eggs

2 Tablespoons sugar

Finely chopped zest of 2 oranges

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Oil for deep-frying

Powdered sugar to sift over the fritters

1 pound strawberries

Sugar to taste

Drain the ricotta overnight in a sieve lined with cheesecloth

Place the drained ricotta in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle, or use a wooden spoon in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, sugar and orange zest. Beat slowly until thick and smooth, about 5 minutes.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and stir into the ricotta mixture. Cover and refrigerate to rest for about an hour.

Wash and hull the strawberries. Slice into a serving bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Stir together and cover and refrigerate until serving

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan or small deep-fat fryer to 360°F.  Use enough to provide a depth of 1-1/2 inches.

Carefully drop teaspoons full of the ricotta mixture into the oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Turn once as they are cooking to brown both sides. Fry until golden.

Remove fritters as they are ready with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a low oven while finishing all the batter. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve while still warm with the strawberries.