If you’ve ever been inside an Italian bakery, chances are you’ve seen and maybe even purchased crostoli. Well, let me introduce you to frappe, crostoli’s far, far superior sibling.
Growing up with an Italian grandmother meant we were treated to all kinds of delicious savoury Italian meals – pasta and the best damn sauce I’ve ever had in my life, suppli, meatloaf, homemade pizza, the list goes on and on. However, I don’t remember her making a lot of sweets. Dessert was usually a choc wedge when we were little kids, or a Vienetta sliced up and shared amongst the long table of family. My parents tell me Nonna did used to make sweets, but it must have been mostly before I was born, or when I was too young to be interested in anything except choc wedges and coloured wafer biscuits. But one thing Nonna did make occasionally was frappe. The excitement that would whip through her house when we arrived and saw the plate of iced, fried dough sitting on the kitchen bench was palpable, because she didn’t do it for every dinner, just once in a while. When I was at uni I filmed Nonna making some her delicious food, and managed to get the recipe written down to emulate – if you have a European grandmother you know how difficult this can be. The recipes are all in their heads, so at best you get something along the lines of “mix flour and sugar and butter and a little bit of milk, maybe some dry white wine if you like. Roll it out and fry it, then sprinkle with icing sugar.”
Sure, okay, Nonna. That sounds easy enough.
But wait! Do I melt the butter or not? How much milk exactly do I need? A little bit? HOW MUCH IS THAT?
It’s very difficult and frustrating because all you want to do is fry up some dough and stuff in your mouth, but without a recipe, it ain’t gonna happen. So once I had the recipe written down, I could make it to my heart’s content. I realised recently that a) I was craving some frappe, and b) I hadn’t made it in a really long time, at least for a couple of years. That is too long between frappes, my friends. TOO LONG, I tell you. This past long weekend I had a spare couple of hours, so I pulled out the recipe and got to work. The result was probably the best batch of frappe I’ve made ever. Literally EVER. So of course, I want you to know the joy of fried dough and sugar as much as I do. Here’s the recipe!