St. Josepy's Zeppole

Serves: 10
Total Calories: 156


1 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch salt
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
grated zest of 1/2 orange

3/4 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
vegetable shortening or vegetable oil for deep-frying
thin strips of orange zest or candied orange peel for garnish
confectioners' sugar for dusting


1. TO MAKE THE FILLING: In a heavy, medium saucepan, bring the milk and sugar to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt together. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the mixture. Rinse out the saucepan and return the mixture to the pan. Stirring constantly with a wooden spatula, bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the rum, vanilla, and orange zest. Transfer to a small bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard. Pierce the plastic wrap a few times to allow the steam to escape. Let cool on a wire cake rack until tepid. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

2. Cut ten 4-inch squares of parchment paper. Using a dark pencil and a small saucer or round cookie cutter as a guide, draw a 3-inch circle on each parchment square. Turn the squares over-you should be able to see the circle through the other side of the paper. In a medium, heavy saucepan, bring the water, butter, sugar, lemon zest, and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally so the butter is completely melted by the time the water boils. Add the flour and baking powder and stir until the dough forms a ball that leaves the sides of the pan and begins to film the bottom of the pan, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Stirring constantly, beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a No.5 fluted open tip (a 1/2-inch-wide opening). On the pencil-free side of each parchment paper square, piping inside the circle, pipe a 3-inch-wide, 1/2-inch-thick circle of dough.

3. Place a large wire cake rack over a jelly roll pan. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening over high heat to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat it to 375°F. Carefully place a zeppole, on its parchment square, dough-side down in the hot shortening. Add 1 or 2 zeppole to the shortening (or as many as you can without crowding them). Fry until the parchment squares can be lifted off and discarded with kitchen tongs, 20 to 30 seconds. Continue to deep-fry, spooning the hot oil over the zeppole to help them puff and turning them once, about 2 1/2 more minutes. Using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer to the wire rack to drain. Repeat with the remaining zeppole. Let the zeppole cool completely.

4. Transfer the filling to a clean pastry bag fitted with a No.5 fluted tip (1/2 inch wide). Fill the center hole of each zeppole with a swirl of filling and garnish with a strip of orange zest. If the zeppole have formed properly, the hole won't be too big, and the filling won't fall through when the zeppole are picked up. If the filling threatens to fall through, just pipe a few small rosettes of the filling on the top of each zeppole. Dust the zeppole with the confectioners' sugar. If not serving immediately, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 10
Total Calories: 156
Calories from Fat: 73

This St. Josepy's Zeppole recipe is from the Fried & True: Crispy and Delicious Dishes from Appetizers to Desserts Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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