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“Zeppole” are a typical Italian dessert that you can find throughout the country, but in particular in the regions surrounding Rome and Naples. Traditionally fried, the round, beignet-like pastries are traditionally topped with confectioner’s sugar or chocolate, and are sometimes filled with custards or cremes.
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In Southern Italy the custom is to make zeppole for the feast of San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph), which falls on March 19—Father’s Day in Italy! Although March is long gone, we thought this recipe for Zeppole would be the perfect treat to celebrate fathers this weekend!
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Serves: 12 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Cook method: Fry
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1. Put the water, sugar, butter, and salt in a saucepan over medium high heat. When the water starts to boil, reduce heat and gradually whisk in the flour, mixing all until you have a smooth batter that easily slides pulls away from the side of the pan. Add the eggs one at a time, beating vigorously until all are incorporated and the batter is smooth and shiny.
2. Transfer the mixture onto a greased surface and let rest, loosely covered, for 20 minutes.
3. Roll into a tube, cut small, 12 cm (5 inch) pieces, and roll them to form balls of dough.
4. Heat the oil in large skillet saute pan, then fry the zeppole 2-3 at a time, being careful not to overcrowd them, until they become golden brown on both sides (5-8 minutes, flipping them halfway through). Remove the zeppole, place on a paper towel to drain.
5. Dust the zeppole with powdered sugar and, if you like, top each one with a little cream and a bit of jam. Enjoy!
Fun fact: many areas also offer savory Zeppole, some including salted anchovies, raisins, or even sea weed!
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Do you have any special Fathers’ Day recipes or traditions? We’d love to hear about them!
Try this recipe for another Italian pastry: pasticciotti!
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By Peg Kern
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