‘Tortillitas de pasas‘ or raisin fritters, is a favourite sweet in Gibraltar being one of our traditional sweets of Spanish origin borne from a time when ingredients were scarce. Every family has it’s own way of doing them. Some make them fluffy (as in this case), others are less so, but there is no right or wrong way of doing it. Some people cover them in sugar, others in honey, although my family recipe covers them in golden syrup which makes then sticky, sweet, soft on the inside and impossible to just have the one. It consists of a batter of a slightly thicker consistency of pancakes but it is fried in hot oil. The result is a raisin fritter which is not oily and is lovely and sweet. These raisin fritters are best eaten on the day and not made too far in advance otherwise.
- 300g self raising flour
- 1 lemon zest (grated)
- 1 lemon rind
- 2.5 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 0.25 tsp nutmeg
- 4 large eggs
- 350g seedless raisins
- 100ml rum
- 250ml whole milk
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 454g (1 tin) golden syrup
- 1 tsp water
- Place the raisins in a bowl and add the rum so that the raisins soak it up. You can leave them marinading for about 30 minutes.
- Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl.
- Beat the eggs in another bowl and add to the flour with the vanilla extract.
- Add the milk a little at a time until you end up with a batter of a slightly thicker consistency than pancake batter.
- Add the raisins to the batter and mix well
- Add enough oil in a deep pan for frying. You can use a mixture of olive oil and sunflower oil. Turn the heat to a medium to high heat and cut the rind of a lemon avoiding the pith whenever possible. Add the lemon rind to the oil and when it has fried and gone brown (toasted) remove the rind. This will flavour the oil with lemon essence.
- With a dessert spoon add a spoonful of the batter to the hot oil. You can do this in batches of 3 or 4 in the pan. When they have gone a darkish amber colour and puffed up turn them round and fry for another minute or so, so it goes the same colour. They only take a few minutes each to cook in total.
- Remove them from the oil when ready and onto a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
- Do the rest in batches until they are all fried and golden brown.
- To cover in golden syrup pour it into a large pan and place on a medium heat with 1.5 tbsp of water. This will loosen the golden syrup slightly so that the fritters can be easily covered. When the golden syrup is hot (it does not need to get too hot so it starts bubbling) and looks runny add each fritter, roll it around in the syrup so it covers them completely, take them out and place on a serving plate.