Istrian recipe: KROSTULE
3 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
approx 500g flour
approx 50g icing sugar
vegetable oil for frying (a lot)
Krostule are the most traditional and well-known Istrian sweet. When I was growing up on my farm I didn’t like these ribbon-like sweet pastries. I considered them too boring, too simple and somehow too “peasant”. They are basically fried sweet pastry and small farmers in the centre of Istria were making them for centuries before the restaurants started offering them as the end of a meal, with a strong espresso or a glass of sweet dessert wine. Now I love them. They are easy to make, cheap, very attractive and tasty.
HOW TO MAKE KROSTULE:
Mix all the ingredients together with flour. My mother and auntie Marta who both make fantastic krostule would say “put as much flour as it takes”, which means keep adding flour until you get soft (but not too soft) dough without adding any water. These amounts of ingredients make the perfect krostule.
Cut the dough in 2-3 pieces and roll each piece with a rolling pin until just one-two millimetres thick and cut long strips (you can cut them with a normal knife or a special zigzag one). Make a ribbon-like shape out of each strip and fry them in a lot of vegetable oil for a minute or so on each side. Make sure they are not overdone as the pastry would turn brownish. Krostule should be of a dark yellow colour. Remove them from the frying pan onto paper towels to soak up excess oil and then sprinkle with icing sugar. Serve with coffee after a meal.
To add a little bit of a modern twist to the traditional krostule, I melted some dark chocolate with butter and icing sugar and soaked the edges of krostule in it; the result was a rather nice and yummy surprise…