Zeppole di san Giuseppe
Ingredients (about 8 zeppole)
- 2 gr salt
- 150 gr all purpose flour
- 250 ml water
- 1 lemon zest
- 40 gr sugar
- 70 gr butter
- 3 eggs
For the cream (crema pasticcera):
- 3 egg yolks
- 25 gr all purpose flour
- 1 vanilla pod
- 75 gr sugar
- 250 ml milk
For cooking and garnish:
- frying oil
- 20 cherry candies
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Pour water into a saucepan and add the salt and butter, then 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.
At this step remove the pan from the heat and transfer the batter to a bowl to cool. Once the batter reaches room temperature, add the eggs, slowly and one by one and mix well together, then put the dough in the fridge 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.
By this time the dough will be rather soft and you will be able to put it into a pastry bag.
Cut several squares of 4×4 of baking paper and on each one start from the center and squeeze the dough from the pastry bag to form a bird’s nest. 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.
Turn the zeppole several times until they turn golden-brown on both sides . 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 it!