Next Saturday is the 19th of March and in Italy we celebrate Father’s Day. And The Zeppole can not be missing from the table that day. So brace yourself and be ready to prepare something tremendously delicious but, if you are a fancy-low-fat-or-low-anything-eater stay away from this
Zeppole di S. Giuseppe: the history, the name, the cult!
The word zeppola comes from the Latin serpula, which means snake, and it refers to the shape of this dolce. The 17th of march during the Roman Empire it was celebrated the Liberiala, goddesses of the wine and the grain. Italians have always been party people and even then they knew how to celebrate a festivity: lots of wine and good food!
For the Liberiala they used to deep fry these snake shaped dessert in the fat. The original version was made using only the grain. It was only in the 1800’s that P.Pintauro added the lard, the eggs and other spices into the dough and he started to cook the zeppole double frying: first in the oil then in the lard! I am mouthwatering!
Zeppole di S. Giuseppe: ingredients & methods.
For the zeppole all you need is :
- 300 gr of flour;
250 gr of lard (the original recipe uses Pork lard, we didn’t find it so we used Duck Fat. AMAZING!);
300 ml of water;
3 pinches of salt;
3 tbsp of sugar;
For the creama pasticciera (custard):
- 150 gr of sugar;
100 gr of flour;
1 lt of milk;
6 egg yolks;
You need two pans; one for the vegetable oil, and one for the the fat (so you need another 400 gr for frying). For garnish sour black cherry and icing sugar.
Ready? Let’s go! Wait, let’s make a coffee first.
It’s better to start with the custard.
Heat the milk in a pot and meanwhile mix together the egg yolks, the sugar and the flour. When the milk starts to boil add the mixture and stir continuously. Add the lemon rind and vanilla essence. Stir till it becomes creamy and uniform.
Leave the cream to rest in the fridge to cool down.
And now ladies and gentlemen let’s make the zeppole!
In a pot add the duck fat, the sugar, and the water. When it starts to boil add the flour and the salt. Stir with a wooden spoon till the mixture becomes uniform.
Remove it from the stove and add the eggs one at a time. Only when the first egg is well mixed with the dough add another one.
Put the mixture in a sac a poche (piping bag) with the star tip. Cut out squares from baking paper and place them on a greased tray. Pipe the mixture on the paper starting from the center drawing a donuts.
Now the best part. Let’s fry. (Just to let you know, you can make this recipe baked in the oven, but, seriously? Life is to short to bake this delicacy!)
When it become golden remove the paper and finish the cooking in the hot fat! Place the zeppole on some cooking paper to absorb the oil.
When you finished to cook all of them put the custard in the piping bag and fill the zeppole.
Garnish with a sour black cherry on top and icing sugar!
Now enjoy it and say goodbye to all that fancy-low-something-diet!
Buona festa del papa’! Happy father’s day (everyday!)