Akrivi's Batter-Dipped Μyzithra Balls
I’d been sitting in the Albatross taverna one afternoon, prying recipes out of Akrivi Mouzouraki, a stately red-head of generous proportions and proprietress of one of Heraklio’s best known eating spots. I watched as she deftly rolled little balls of the cheese between her plump palms, dipped them into the batter and quick as a wink placed them into the deep fryer. The result: a crunchy coating that hides a cool creamy interior. Try it on your guests next time, I am sure you will impress them deeply.
For the batter:
180 ml (3/4 cup) milk
2 tbs brandy or raki
2 tbs olive oil
1 egg yolk
210 grams (1 1/2 cup) flour
1 tbs baking powder
For the filling :
1/2 kg (1 lb) sweet myzithra (or ricotta)
2 tbs sugar (or more, to taste)
1 tsp cinnamon
480 ml (2 cups) olive oil for frying
1. Begin whisking the liquids and eggs together, adding the flour and baking powder slowly until you have a batter that resembles a thick custard.
2. Mash the myzithra with the sugar and cinnamon until it is smooth. You can use an electric beater for this. Both the cheese and the batter can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for the moment you will fry them.
3. Make little balls out of the cheese mixture.
4. Fill a deep frying pan with oil and bring it to a near "boil".
5. Dip each ball in the batter and brown a few at a time quickly in the hot oil.
6. Lift them out with slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and serve with honey or sugar.