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May Day fritter MAY DAY FRITTERS

May Day fritters are traditionally served in Finland during the May Day celebration.

Read more about May Day fritters here.

2 eggs
100 ml milk
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
200 ml fine wheat flour
½ tsp grated lemon zest and/or ½ tsp vanilla sugar
peanut, sunflower or corn oil for frying

Lightly whisk the eggs, but do not beat. Whisk in the milk, sugar, salt, lemon zest and/or vanilla sugar and finally the flour. Pour the batter in a sturdy plastic bag and close the bag.

The batter may also be poured in a clean, squeezable plastic bottle fitted with a cap with a small hole, through which the batter can be drizzled into the hot oil. Note, that the hole should be very narrow, less than 5 millimetres in diameter.

Heat the oil in a medium-sized, thick-bottomed stainless steel saucepan (or use a deep fryer, if you have one) until it reaches the temperature of 175 - 180 °C. Preferably use a digital thermometer to monitor the temperature during frying, so that you can lower and raise the heat when necessary.

When the oil is hot enough, plunge a round, sturdy stainless steel soup ladle in the oil. Fill the ladle more than half full with oil and raise it so that its rim is just a little above the oil surface.

Cut a very small hole in the corner of the bag holding the batter and start drizzling it (or squeezing it out of the plastic bottle) inside the ladle in a very thin stream, forming criss-cross patterns. At the same time, slowly lower the ladle in the oil, so that the fritter formed inside the ladle will float freely in the oil.

This takes a little practise, and the first few batches may result in too thick and lumpy fritters, especially if the batter is drizzled too thickly, but after a few tries you'll be bound to get the hang of the right technique. (It might be a good idea to prepare a double batch of the batter.)

Fry the fritter until it is golden brown, then turn it around using a slotted spoon and fry on the other side. Do not fry more than two to three fritters at the same time.

Lift the fritters from oil with the slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Then place them on a wire rack to cool and sift generously with icing sugar. Serve the fritters with homemade, non-alcoholic mead.

Recipe source: adapted from "Tippaleivät", Salonen, E. et al. (1975) Ruokavuosi - Ruokia vuodenaikojen mukaan. Helsinki: Otava.


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