- Food and Cooking
Zeppole Made Easy, Recipes, Folklore ...
Doughnuts for Saint Joseph's Day
Zeppole is no stranger to the United States. If you've been to a street festival in any Little Italy in America, you know zeppole, a kind of fried doughnut that is tossed in a bag with powdered sugar. In Sicily, zeppole are tiny and fluffy and rolled in granulated sugar (that's how I make mine). St. Joseph's Day is celebrated in many parts of Sicily with a solemn supper given in gratitude to the saint for granted favors.
St. Joseph's Day is on March 19, you must pull the ear of anyone you meet on this day named Giuseppe (Joseph) for good luck!
Zeppole Made Easy
This is a really easy recipe that was given to me by a lady who sold Zeppole at Italian Feasts and Street Fairs for many years. It is the easiest way to make this classic Italian treat. You may have a hard time finding Presto flour, just ask your local supermarket to order it.
1 cup of Ricotta cheese
2 small eggs
1 cup of Presto flour
Mix the three ingredients above and fry until golden, blot off oil and spinkle granulated sugar over them. Enjoy!
This is my first and oldest Squidoo Lens (made way before they had a recipe module); it was also a lens I made before I decided to make individual lenses that focused on some of the non-zeppole recipes on this page. I'm in the process of revamping this Lens. Thanks for visiting and I hope to roll out the new and improved Zeppole in a few days.
Zeppole Batter Should Have A Yellow Tinge - Plop The Batter In The Oil With Two Spoons
What you want to do is carefully scoop up some batter with one spoon and scrape it off with the other, do this as close to the oil as possible so you don't splash yourself with hot oil.
Tip: It may be a good idea to spray the spoons with a little Pam so the batter don't stick.
Fry Them In The Oil Of Your Choice
If you can afford to go nuts buy Peanut Oil; it's the best oil for frying (not good for the faint of wallet), I used Canola and Olive Oil in this photograph. You want to heat up the oil enough so when you first drop them in the start to turn golden right away; if your oil starts foaming up on you you're doing something wrong (usually means your flame it to high, and the oil is too hot). The Zeppole are done when the rise to the top and are an even golden color; I'd say a little darker than pictured in this photograph. The most important thing is you take one out, crack it open and eat it; make sure they aren't raw in the middle, they should be light and airy not oily (if you heat your oil to the right temperature fried food don't absorb too much oil).
Zeppole In Fine Sugar (shhhh, I add some vanilla sugar) - NO, NO, NO; Do Not Use Confectioners Sugar ...
... the Sicilians will be mad at you. No really, trust me on this one; your friends will thank you and your boss will enjoy them all the more when you don't get powdered sugar all over his nice suit. I like to put them and a brown paper bag covered with a paper towel, very briefly; it's the excess oil that helps the sugar to stick to the Zeppole. I roll them around the sugar while the next batch of Zeppole is frying; BTW you should only do about 5 - 8 at a time (depending on the size of your pot of oil); don't crowd them.
I then put the sugared Zeppole on a drying rack so they stay nice and fluffy and airy; otherwise they tend to get soggy.
Struffala, The Finished Product - Now That's Sicilian!
Struffoli, Struffala, Struffali and/or Honey Balls
Some Say Tomato, Some Say ... The Other Fried Dough
These are the honey balls that are made around Christmas time in Italian Bakeries and neighborhoods where I live in the Bronx. This is my mother's recipe, as you can see its' well loved. Struffoli is the correct spelling, and this lens is gives a better idea of the origins and regional differences in their preparation.
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of Crico
1 tablespoon of sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of Stock Sweet Vermouth
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
16 oz of honey
zest of 1 orange peel
juice of 1/2 an orange (depending on size)
Sift the dry ingredients together. Add zest and combine wet ingredients. Some melt the crisco, I cut it in. Knead the dough about 5 minutes (by hand). Make a long rope from the kneaded dough. Cut little marble size pieces (maybe a little bigger) and cover them with plastic wrap till your ready to fry them. To make the honey sauce, put the honey in a saucepan, add the juice of the orange and the zest on a low flame just enough to warm and infuse the orange's essential oils into the honey. Some strain this syrup (some don't), I do and zest another orange over a heap of coated struffala; right before serving.
I use vegetable oil but you can try other oils (oil combos ...) or Crisco (any shortening), heat the oil until it is hot enough to fry a marbles sized piece of dough to golden within a minute or less. We never used a thermometer but I'd say around 365°. Only put a few in at a time or the oil will foam up on you. When they are golden brown take them out of the oil and blot them on brown paper bag with a paper towel over them. I put them on a drying rack, for 30 minutes.
I like to take all the struffala and put them in a big mixing bowl, pour the honey mixture in and coat all the struffala. Then you can arrange them in a heap, and sprinkle non pareil all over them. Some also put more orange zest strings too.
I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Enoy the ones you Love, because you never know how long you'll have them.
More Zeppole Recipes
Zeppole Recipe # 2
Yield: 20 servings
2 tb butter
1 c flour
1 egg yolk
vegetable oil for deep frying
1/2 c confectioners' sugar
Put butter and salt into a saucepan with 1 cup water. Boil until
butter dissolves. Off heat, dump in flour all at once and stir
rapidly to mix. Return pan to medium-high heat and cook, still
stirring rapidly, until mixture is smooth and begins to coat bottom
and sides of pan. Remove pan from heat and, one at a time, add eggs
and extra yolk, stirring briskly until each addition is absorbed.
Let mixture cool to room temperature. Put confectioners' sugar into
a brown paper bag. Heat deep-frying oil to 375F. Using 2 teaspoons,
drop in nuggets of dough about the size of a small walnut. Fry a
few at a time for 5-to-6 minutes each. As they cook, the zeppoli
will rise to the surface, turn over when their bottom halves are
golden brown, and finally rupture slightly and puff further as the
interior dough expands. Remove them from the oil when golden brown,
firm, and hollow inside. (Check one from the first batch, and if
the interior is at all soggy, cook the rest longer.) Drain zeppoli
briefly on paper towels, then toss in the bag with confectioners'
sugar. Serve at once.
Note: As made in Naples for the Feast of San Giuseppe, these crullers
are piped from a pastry bag into ring shapes. After being fried,
their centers are filled with pastry cream and cherry preserves.
Zeppole Recipe # 3
1/2 cup white wine,
2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
Olive oil, for frying
3 teaspoons powdered cinnamon mixed with 1 cup sugar
Put wine and water in a pot. Bring to almost a boil. (It shouldn't come to a full boil.) Add the flour all at once and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. When the dough comes out of the pot in a single piece remove it from the heat. Place on lightly oiled marble or counter surface. Knead by pounding with a rolling pin. Do this for 10 minutes so as to make it smooth and homogeneous. Roll the dough into snakes about as thick as your little finger. Pull off small pieces of dough, rub the dough between your hands and pinch ends together to make small rings.
Heat the oil and fry the zeppole a few at a time. Prick balls with a skewer as they fry, so the dough will bubble out and they become crunchier and more golden. Drain them on paper towels. Dredge them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve hot or cold.
Fryers For Zeppole - It's All In The Oil (Shhhh)!
The Right Tools for the Right Job, and Measure Twice Cut Once are two of my favorite sayings. If you are going to use a big pot of oil, please be CAREFUL.. Have a fire extinguisher, some salt and keep the children out of the kitchen when your frying something (this goes for outside frying too). Use a thermometer to make sure your oil isn't getting too hot; you should never let oil get so hot to the point of it smoking.
I'm A Fry Girl Myself
This recipe isn't fried, like the custard filled zeppole you get at a bakery. This really seems like a Struffala Recipe (not mine though, I fry them too).
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup butter
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp grated orange peel
1 tsp grated lemon peel
Lightly grease a baking sheet and preheat oven to 450°
Bring water, butter sugar and salt to boil in a medium saucepan. Add flour, all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture leaves sides of pan and forms a smooth ball (about 3 minutes) Remove from heat
Quickly beat in eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and glossy. Add orange and lemon peel and mix thoroughly.
Drop by tablespoonfuls 2-in apart on the baking sheet.
Bake at 450° 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350°. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden in color.
Remove to rack and cool completely. Cut slit in side of each puff and fill with whipped cream, vanilla pudding or ricotta filling (below).
3 cups ricotta cheese (about 1.5lbs)
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tsbp grated orange peel
2 Tbsp grated lemon peel
Combine all ingredients and beat with electric mixer about 10 minutes. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.
Anginette Cookie Recipe
*Not my family recipe!
5 cups of all-purpose flour
2 extra-large eggs
1 cup of whole milk, heated to 110* (plus extra if needed)
1 ounce lemon extract
5 teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of granulated sugar 3 cups of shortening, diced
4 cups of confectioners sugar
1 cup of multi-colored nonpareils
Preheat the oven to 350*. Mix the flour, eggs, milk, lemon extract, baking powder, and granulated sugar until incorporated in a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening, one piece at a time, until a dough forms. Add a little milk if the dough is too dry, add flour if the dough is too sticky and knead until smooth for about 5 minutes. Cut the dough into golf ball size pieces, roll each piece into a log. Make twists, "S" shapes and/or spirals. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper that has had some butter or cooking spray on it. Cookies should be 2 inches apart, bake for about 15 minutes.
Lidia's Italy In America
Pizzelle, Rossettes & Cannoli Recipes
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 Tbl. vanilla or anise
1/2 cup margarine, melted (do not use oil)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 large eggs
2 tsp. sugar
1 cup of milk
1 Tbs. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
Pizzelle Irons & Presses on Amazon
Chef's Choice Gourmet Pizzelle Mix
The Chew broadcasted a really recipe on Little Christmas and it looked goooood! I heard Mario is/was a Deadhead too (awesome). Has anyone been to his latest venture Eataly near the Flat Iron building; it's awesome, and if you can't find it there, your in trouble (although I rather go see my friends in Little Italy, they keep it real).
Did you grow up Italian? - If so I think you'll like these books.
This is one of my favorite books on baking, both sides of my family are from Southern Italy. This book has a lot of fun facts about the origins of many of the pastries you grow up with living in an Italian neighborhood.
I'd like to do this one day, guess I can put it on my bucket list.