In Mallorca, this time of the year we celebrate St. Ursula (21st October) or mostly known as the Virgins’ Day. The story behind is quite gruesome, involving St. Ursula and 11000 virgins’ pilgrimage to Rome through Germany, where they were killed by the huns as they didn’t accept their sexual advances. The current tradition, however, is much nicer. A girl can receive a carnation and a serenade from a boy who shows interest in her, and in return she’ll invite him to these traditional puffs or fritters.
This is one of those recipes that everyone’s grandmother knows how to make, and of course everyone’s grandmother makes the best without a shred of doubt. It is fortunately a simple enough recipe, just quite messy and slightly time consuming. But once you pop just one of these into your mouth and it dissolves into sugary goodness, all the work is well worth it, I promise you this much.
- 2 eggs
- 500g / 2 cups boiled potatoes, mashed
- 250g / 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp dry yeast
- a few tbsp water
- vegetable oil for deep frying
- powder sugar (you can also use normal sugar)
- Mix the yeast with the water and let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until it forms a soft dough, and allow to rise for at least half an hour.
- Put a deep pot on medium heat and add enough oil for deep frying.
- This is the tricky part. You’ll need to have wet hands for this, the bowl with the dough on one side and the pot with the hot oil on the other. Wet your hand, take a small amount of dough and poke it to make a small hole. Then the wet hand drops the dough into the oil. Do only a few puffs at a time so you don’t overcrowd the pot.
- Allow each puff to brown on one side, then use a skimmer to gently flip the puff to cook on the other side. Once brown on both sides, scoop out and onto a serving plate with some absorbent paper on it.
- Sprinkle some sugar on the puffs and enjoy! Don’t forget to breathe in between helpings, these are so good I won’t be held responsible for anyone choking up on too many!
- You can also make them with sweet potato. You can either substitute the entire amount of potato for sweet potato, or do half and half.