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Fried Italian pastries called Zeppole di San Giuseppe

March 19th is a special day, because pastry shop windows are filled with delicious traditional treats: zeppole. Choux pastry donuts filled with cream and sweet syrupy sour cherries, topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar in the classic version. Some prefer baked zeppole while others do not hesitate to indulge in the even more indulgent fried version! It is a traditional sweet from Campania but it is widespread throughout Italy with different variations and names, such as the fried Bignè di San Giuseppe filled with cream that is traditional in Rome. Fried zeppole is a rich dessert with an ancient history. Its name derives from Giuseppe, who fled to Egypt with Mary and Jesus and supported his family with the craft of “frittellaro” (fritter maker). There are several poems and nursery rhymes dedicated to Saint Joseph the fritter maker. For this reason, fried zeppole is the typical dessert for Father’s Day all over Italy. We also wanted to prepare them and dedicate them to all the fathers in Italy who will be tasting even more delicious versions made with cocoa, sfinci, and soft Emilian ravioli on this special day dedicated to them!

Try these variations too:

Fried San Giuseppe Zeppole INGREDIENTS

Ingredients for 6 zeppole

3 medium eggs

1 egg yolk

55g of butter

250ml of water

150g of 00 flour

A pinch of salt

Fried San Giuseppe Zeppole Calories

Difficulty: Medium Preparation: 40 minutes Cooking: 40 minutes Serving: 6 pieces Cost: Medium Note + the time for pastry cream cooling

Fried San Giuseppe Zeppole PREPARATION

How to prepare Fried San Giuseppe zeppole

To prepare fried San Giuseppe zeppole, start by preparing the pastry cream for the filling, so that it cools down: you can follow the process that you find in the pastry cream recipe on our site for more details. You need to heat the milk and the cream (or just the milk) in a saucepan together with the vanilla bean and the seeds that you have extracted with a small knife 1. When it boils, turn off the heat and keep it warm. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl and add the granulated sugar 2 then stir to combine the ingredients, then add the cornstarch 3 and stir well.

Remove the vanilla bean, pour a little milk into the bowl with the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch 5 to temper the mixture, then stir before adding everything in the pot with the milk 6.

Turn on the low heat and whisk continuously with a whisk 7 until the cream thickens 8. It will take about 10 minutes. Once done, you can put the cream into a shallow bowl, cover it with plastic wrap 9. Let it cool to room temperature and then in the fridge. Once cooled, you can transfer it to a disposable pastry bag with a star nozzle.

Now, switch to making the choux pastry: pour water into a large pot 10, then add the butter in pieces 11 and a pinch of salt 12.

Turn on medium heat and stir with a wooden spoon to melt the butter 13. When the liquid comes to a boil, add the flour all at once 14 and continue to stir 15.

The mixture should come off the sides of the pot 16. Then turn off the heat and transfer it to a bowl. Spread it out slightly at the center to cool more quickly, and, aside from this, beat together the 3 whole eggs with the yolk (in total, the eggs and yolk should weigh 170 g). Pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the batter gradually 17, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. At the beginning, it will be difficult to mix everything together, it will take a little patience to obtain a smooth and homogeneous consistency; in the end, the mixture will be quite fluid and creamy 18.

Pour it into a pastry bag with a 12mm star nozzle 19. In a large pot, heat the peanut oil and bring it to a temperature not exceeding 165°C (using a kitchen thermometer);