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Zeppole di San Giuseppe

Blossom Lady
Jul 03, 2021 08:11 AM
Zeppole di San Giuseppe

These nests of deep-fried choux pastry dusted with sugar were first made to celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph. The day coincides with Father's Day in Italy, and just as the style of celebration varies from region to region, so too does the preparation of these mouth-watering beauties.

Some zeppole remain unfilled and are simply tossed in sugar or drizzled with honey, while others are filled with a ricotta mixture similar to what you'd find in cannoli. Others still are filled with crema pasticcera, and we've opted for a version of those here, in this case scented with vanilla bean and lemon rind.

The key to success with zeppole di San Giuseppe is to keep the cooking oil at the correct temperature; a thermometer will stand you in good stead. It's a bit of a Goldilocks situation: if the oil is too cool, the doughnuts will be insipid and soggy; too-hot oil will result in an overcooked exterior and a doughy interior; 180C is just right. And cook the doughnuts in small batches to help ensure the oil maintains a steady temperature.

Once they're cooked, drain the doughnuts well on absorbent paper, and cool them to room temperature before filling - otherwise you'll find the filling slipping and sliding all over the place. Be generous with the filling, too - it's all about getting a mouthful that has the right balance of creamy goodness and yielding fluffy pastry. Viva le zeppole.

Ingredients:

60 gm butter, coarsely chopped

40 gm caster sugar

300 gm plain flour (2 cups)

6 eggs

For deep-frying: vegetable oil

For dusting: pure icing sugar, sieved

Lemon and vanilla custard

250 ml milk (1 cup)

250 ml thickened cream (1 cup)

Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

6 egg yolks

140 gm caster sugar

50 gm plain flour (1/3 cup)

Prep Time:
10 minutes
Cook Time:
10 minutes
Total Time:
20 minutes
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