Thursday, March 19, 2009


Zeppole are the traditional Italian Pastries that are eaten on St. Joseph's Day (Today). Every year since, I can remember, we would get theses from a bakery and eat them during the week of St. Joseph's Day. This year my sister and I wanted to make them on our own! It sounds like a lot of work, but it took us 1 hour and a half to do everything! Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take the pata a choux dough (recipe below) and fill a pastry bag with a large start tip. Pipe puffs into circles. Bake puffs until pale golden brown all over, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks. Puffs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature overnight. **A trick that I do that will help your puffs not to deflate is to place a wooden spoon in the door 5 minutes before they are done. That way, the hot air can be let out slowly. Smart, huh? ;)

Once the puffs are cooled, slice them in half and fill with the pastry cream. Dust with powdered sugar. The traditonal way is to top them with the italian sour cherries (Amarene), but the any candied cherry will do! =)
Makes enough for 2 dozen zeppole
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white
Directions Bring butter, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, quickly stir in flour. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from sides and a film forms on bottom of pan, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until slightly cooled, about 1 minute. Raise speed to medium; add whole eggs, 1 at a time, until a soft peak forms when batter is touched with your finger. If peak does not form, lightly beat remaining egg white, and mix it into batter a little at a time until it does.
Pastry Cream
Ingredients Makes about 2 1/2 cups 2 cups whole milk 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved Pinch of salt 4 large egg yolks 1/4 cup cornstarch 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Directions Bring milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Whisking, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Slowly add remaining milk mixture until incorporated. Pour mixture back into the saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking, until it begins to bubble in center and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; discard vanilla bean. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter; beat on medium speed until butter has melted and mixture has cooled, about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Just before using, beat on low speed or whisk by hand until smooth.