Apple Raisin Crespelle
Growing up, my mother Assunta would always make crespelle for the holidays, especially at Christmas. Crespelle are basically a soft pizza dough that is fried in oil, similar to a fritter. They can be made savoury, with salted cod fish (baccalà) or anchovy. They can also be made sweet, as in my version, with apples and raisins or just raisins on their own. You can sprinkle the sweet version with granulated sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon, powdered sugar or honey.
Surprisingly, very little oil was absorbed by the crespelle in the cooking process. If you cook them properly at a high enough heat and use a brown paper bag cut into sheets to absorb the oil after they are cooked, very little oil is used.I actually measured the oil left after cooking to determine this, so enjoy! Since there is no sugar added to the dough, you could omit the sugar sprinkled on top for those that are on a reduced sugar diet.
- 1 ¾ c. warm water
- ½ pkg. (4g.) Fleischmann’s Quick-Rise Instant Yeast
- 2 c. unbleached, all purpose flour
- ⅛ tsp. sea salt
- 3 small apples, peeled and cored, cut each into 8 wedges
- ¾ c. Thompson raisins
- 1 tbsp. Apricot Brandy or liquor of choice
- 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 c. canola oil for frying
- granulated sugar for dusting
- Dissolve instant yeast into warm water, stir and set aside.
- In another small dish, add Apricot Brandy to raisins, toss and set aside.
- In a large glass or non-metallic bowl, add flour and salt. Make a well with the flour.
- Add dissolved yeast water and olive oil to the flour mixture then fold gently. Add raisins and apples to the dough then fold just until incorporated. The dough should be soft, not runny and not too firm. Add more warm water or flour accordingly if necessary.
- Cover the dough bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Place bowl in a warm area, away from any cool drafts. Allow dough to rise for 2 hours.
- Heat oil in a deep medium size pot on the stove on medium-high. Using two tablespoons, drop dough into hot oil. Make sure to get enough apple and raisins in each. Careful not to overfill pot. Fry about 5-6 crespelle at a time. Once golden brown, flip over gently with a fork. Adjust temperature setting on stove in case of splattering.
- Using a Chinese-style strainer, with a bamboo handle, lift crespelle onto a large platter lined with a brown paper bag or paper towel to absorb oil.
- Sprinkle with a little sugar before serving. The crespelle are best eaten immediately or within the same day. If you need to store for the next day, use a paper bag.