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Zeppole di San Giuseppe
Zeppole di San Giuseppe
Zeppole di San Giuseppe are Southern Italian pastries traditionally served for the feast of St. Joseph on March 19, a holiday that often gets undeservedly lost amid all the foofaraw of St. Patrick’s Day, a pity because St. Joe’s Day offers much better food.
Prep Time

40 min
Cook Time:

60 min

Main Ingredient
  • Pastry shells:
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Filling:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 ounce cornstarch
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups whipping cream, whipped
  • Powdered sugar for garnish
  • Dark cherries for garnish
Category: Desserts

Make the pastry:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a saucepan, boil the water with the butter, salt and sugar.
  • Add the flour all at once and cook over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides without sticking.
  • Remove from the fire and beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Let cool.
  • Line a sheet pan with baking paper.
  • With a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, pipe the dough into puffs on the sheet.
  • Bake for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 10 minutes more or until golden brown.
  • Remove and let cool.

Make the filling:

  • Beat the yolks with the sugar until very light.
  • Add the flour and cornstarch to the yolk mixture.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil slowly, and add the yolk mixture while beating until smooth.
  • Over low heat, cook until thickened, stirring all the time.
  • Remove from heat and add the rum, orange zest and vanilla.
  • Let cool completely and fold in the whipped cream.


  • Split the pastries and hollow them out; fill and put the tops back on.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.
  • Top with cherries.

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