Today is a special day in Italy. March 19th is the day of Saint Joseph and Father’s day.
On this day it’s usual to celebrate all the dads with presents and mouthwatering bankets. As dessert there’s a special treat: Zeppole di San Giuseppe, fritters filled with pastry cream.
It seems that even the Ancient Romans used to eat something similar to Zeppole during Baccanali celebrations on March 17.
The modern recipe of Zeppole is believed to be created by monks back to the beginning of the 19th century.
If you want to try these delicious Zeppole di San Giuseppe, you can buy them in all the pastry shops. But of you want to try to bake your own Zeppole, this is the recipe for you.
Zeppole di San Giuseppe
For the doughs
1 cup water
5 oz all-purpose flour
1 oz butter
1 pinch salt
For the filling
2 egg yolks
2 oz sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
For cooking and garnish
extra virgin olive oil to taste
frying oil to taste
confectioners sugar to taste
sour cherry in syrup
Pour water into a saucepan and add the salt and butter. Bring to a boil, while stirring.
Add the flour, leaving the pan on the heat, and mix the batter well using a spoon until the batter is smooth and no longer sticks to the sides of the pan.
Then, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the batter to a bowl to cool.
Once the batter reaches room temperature, add the eggs, one at a time and mix together.
Once the batter is fairly light and airy, place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the pastry filling by pouring the milk into a saucepan.
Add the lemon peel and bring to a boil. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the sugar. Then incorporate the flour, whisking continuously.
Once the milk begins to boil, remove it from the heat and slowly add the egg, sugar and flour mixture, whisking as you go. The resulting mixture should be soft and creamy.
Then transfer the mixture to the stove over medium heat. Stir continuously until the cream becomes fairly dense.
Once ready, transfer the cream to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to let cool. Be sure to cover the bowl well so that a film doesn’t form on the surface of the cream.
While you wait for the cream to cool, prepare the fritters.
To shape the fritters, place the fritter batter in a pastry bag with a star-shaped tip.
Cut out 2-in squares of aluminum foil and grease one side of the squares with extra virgin olive oil.
Then, using the pastry bag, form a ring of dough on each foil until you have used all the batter.
Fill a pot with frying oil and place over high heat.
Once hot, place the fritters in the oil, two at a time, with the foil. Do not cook more than two at a time or else the oil will not stay hot.
The foil will separate from the fritters in the hot oil.
Once brown, remove the fritters using a slotted spoon and place them to drain on paper towels while you fry the remaining batter.
Once the fritters are cool enough to handle, fill another pastry bag with pastry cream.
Decorate each fritter with a little cream and place a cherry on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy the zeppole di San Giuseppe.
Recipe from Academia Barilla