Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Theophany Fritters

I promise I'm going to start sharing my healthy recipes again. There is just one more dessert that I will want to share after this one. I have done a pretty good job of eating healthy over the Holidays but the "bad" food is so much more fun to share than my butternut squash soup that I made last night (even though it is very good, just not as fun as fritters).

These sweet fritters are a traditional dessert among Orthodox in Lebanon and Syria. The website from where I found this recipe explains that is the book The Art of Syrian Cookery by Helen Corey the dough was traditionally wrapped in a cloth, “baptized” in a fountain and hung in a tree for three days. It would develop a strain of wild yeast and then would be used to make baked goods rise throughout the new year.

Obviously, I will not be "baptizing" and hanging the dough from a tree, but I think making these Fritters on Theophany could become a fun and special family tradition for me.

Sugar Syrup

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon rose water

1 tablespoon orange blossom water

[If you can't find orange blossom water then just double the rose water. If you can't find either, use vanilla or almond exact to taste. You will want to use much less of the extracts because they are much stronger flavors. I did find both the rose and orange water in my local grocery store in the aisle with all the sparkling and flavored waters.]

* I ended up with lots of extra syrup so I think one could 1/2 this recipe.

Put sugar, water and lemon juice in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, occasionally stirring. Leave to boil for 3 minutes then stir in flower waters and boil for a few more seconds. Take off heat and leave to cool. It must be completely cool before use in the next recipe. However, if you are not planning to use it the same day, it can be stored in the refrigerator in a glass container for up to two weeks. Let it warm back up to room temperature before using it.


Full recipe sugar syrup

1 cup all purpose flour

1 1/4 cups yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

vegetable oil for frying

Prepare the syrup, keep in the pan and have it on hand to drop the fritters into when they are ready.

Sift flour into a mixing bowl, then add yogurt and baking soda. Whisk until well blended and smooth, then cover and leave to rest for 45 minutes.

Fill a medium-sized frying pan with enough vegetable oil to deep fry the fritters and place over a medium heat. When the oil is hot (drop in a little batter, if the oil bubbles around it, it is ready), dip a dessert spoon in a little cool oil, fill it with batter and then drop the batter into the oil. Drop in as many fritters as can fit comfortably, stir to brown them evenly, until they become golden all over. Don't let the oil get too hot or the fritters will not cook all the way through. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a double layer of paper towels before dropping in the syrup. Turn a few times in the syrup and remove onto a serving dish.

These fritters should be eaten right away, once they reach room temperature. They do not store well.

Recipe from: Lebanese Cuisine by Annisa Helou and found on Festal Celebrations.


  1. Mmmm! So unusual! I would love to try these, but I sadly lack skill in the frying department (plus I really don't need the extra fat right now:)). Thanks for sharing a traditional Orthodox recipe. I love the story behind it.

  2. I love traditional recipes of all sorts. Thanks so much for sharing, it looks divine!


Locations of visitors to this page