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Oven baked Zeppole filled with custard.
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Zeppole Di San Giuseppe

Zeppole Di San Giuseppe are traditional Italian pastries prepared every March 19 for the Feast of Saint Joseph's Day. These are oven baked and filled with a creamy custard, a generous dusting of powdered sugar and topped with an Amarena cherry.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Zeppole Di San Giuseppe
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
baking time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 13 minutes
Servings 17
Author Marisa

Ingredients

CUSTARD

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier liquor or sweet Marsala wine
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup cream

PASTRY

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 12 pitted Amarena wild cherries bottled in syrup
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

PREPARING THE CUSTARD

  • In a medium sized sauce pot whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, vanilla extract, lemon zest and the Grand Marnier over low heat until thoroughly mixed.
  • Whisk in the milk and the cream until combined.
  • Increase the heat slightly and continue whisking until mixture thickens and has the appearance of thick cream. Should take about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Transfer the custard to a clean bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Then cover the custard with cling wrap, allowing it to touch the custard and chill for about two hours. The custard will thicken even more as it chills.
  • Meanwhile make the pastries.

PREPARING THE PASTRY

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium sauce pan add one cup of water, the butter, sugar, salt and bring to a full boil until the butter melts.
  • Add in the flour and baking powder beating vigorously with a wooden spoon until combined. The flour will absorb all the liquid and form a ball.
  • Continue cooking and stirring the mixture for about 2 minutes as this will get rid of the raw flour taste.
  • Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for about 1 minute. This allows the dough to cool slightly before adding the eggs.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition while stopping to scrape down the bowl occasionally.
  • When ready, the dough will be thick and smooth looking.
  • Spoon the dough into a large pastry bag fitted with a star tip.
  • Pipe a rosette of 2 inches in diameter directly onto the parchment lined cookie sheet and top with a second layer of rosette. Basically one on top of the other. It will have the appearance of a bird's nest.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough while spacing the rosettes 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. The pastries should be light golden brown colour.
  • Allow the pastries to cool completely before filling with the custard.
  • When ready to fill the pastries, slice them in half with a serrated knife.
  • Spoon the chilled pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe the pastry cream onto the bottom half of the pastries and place the tops back on.
  • Pipe some more pastry cream over the top centre of the pastries.
  • Dust generously with powdered sugar and top each with an Amarena cherry