Italian Carnevale doughnuts

    3 hours 35 min

    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.

    2 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 350g water
    • 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

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Extra time:3hr resting  ›  Ready in:3hr35min 

    1. In a saucepan bring water, salt and butter to the boil. Remove from heat and add flour. Stir well.
    2. Set back over medium heat. Stir well and cook until the dough starts to come away from the sides of the pan.
    3. Remove from heat and add sugar, anise liqueur, grappa and lemon zest. Stir well and let the dough cool to room temperature.
    4. Beat the egg yolks into the cooled dough until well mixed. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let rest for 3 hours.
    5. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the dough till no white streaks remain.
    6. 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.
    7. Serve straightaway.


    Lard is traditionally used to fry Carnival doughnuts. However you can replace it with vegetable oil if desired.

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