Some of the most authentic regional fare in the Marches, mainly the Ascoli PIceno area, are the small but scrumptious treats that can be both street food that accompany drinks at happy hours or appetizers served on special occasions, such as wedding receptions - crema fritta or cremini (literally deep-fried custard). Whether you are a gourmet or a distracted traveller you will be enthralled by these little golden diamonds that are so sweet and tasty!
Here's the recipe :
80 g sugar
80 g flour
the zest of one organic lemon in strips
500 ml fresh whole milk, boiled and allowed to cool
a pinch of salt
a stick of cinnamon
extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups of fresh bread crumbs
In a bowl beat two large eggs and two yolks with the sugar, four tblspoons of cold milk and the sifted flour. Put the remaining milk in a pot with the lemon zest, a cinnamon stick and salt and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly incorporate to the flour mixture whilst beating steadily with a whisk to prevent formation of lumps. When the milk is all used up, pour the new mixture back into the pot, thenstir constantly over gentle heat until the cream thickens. Be careful not to overcook since cream is apt to curdle. Remove from fire and keep stirring for another couple of minutes, then get rid of the zest and cinnamon stick. Now it's the time to blend in a few drops of local Anisette Meletti if you like! Pour the cream in a large, flat dish, spread well to a thickness of approx 2-3 cm and allow to cool. Next, cut the firm cream into squares. Beat a large egg plus the two remaining egg whites, dredge the squares in some flour, then in the beaten eggs and finally in the bread crumbs. Working in batches, deep-fry them in olive oil until golden and crispy. Lay them on kitchen paper and serve immediately!