A Father’s Day Dessert that Dad Will Never Forget

A Father’s Day Dessert that Dad Will Never Forget Image licensed under Shutterstock

Unlike in the States, Father’s Day in Italy is celebrated on March 19. It coincides with the Festa di San Giuseppe, which is the Catholic day of feasts in honor of St. Joseph. Italians love to celebrate with food, and this holiday is no exception.

Zeppole di San Giuseppe is a pastry that always makes an appearance on St. Joseph’s Day.  It’s made from a very slightly sweetened choux pastry and filled and topped with pastry cream. They’re then dusted with powdered sugar and crowned with an Italian cherry syrup.

Zeppole di San Giuseppe is a treat that will not just leave dad’s palette in heaven, but the nostalgic memories that this decadent dessert will bring to the surface will help you give dad a Father’s Day that he will never forget.

It’s one of our most popular desserts here at Doris, and that’s one reason they’re available year-round in our markets.  You can always pick them up fresh from our bakeries, but we think you’ll have fun having a try at them yourself.


Makes about 18 fritters

For the Fritterszeppole

  • 2 tsp. sugar plus 1 cup
  • 1 14 cups milk
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp. white rum
  • 14 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Amarena cherries, halved, to garnish

For the Filling:

  • 1 lb. ricotta, drained overnight in a cheesecloth-lined strainer, or ricotta impastata
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. orange zest

Procedimento:For the Fritters:

  • Bring 2 tsp. sugar, milk, butter, rum, and salt to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Add flour; stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until dough begins to dry, 2–3 minutes.
  • Transfer dough to bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle and beat on medium-high speed.
  • Add eggs one at a time, until each is incorporated fully; dough should be smooth and hold peaks when lifted from paddle.
  • Transfer dough to piping bag fitted with ½″ star tip, and pipe 2½″-diameter circles onto parchment paper.
  • Using scissors, cut out paper around each fritter; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine remaining sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

For the filling:

  • Combine ricotta, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and orange zest in a large bowl and whisk until smooth, 2–3 minutes.
  • Transfer to piping bag fitted with a ½″ star tip; set aside.
  • Pour oil into a 6-qt. Dutch oven to a depth of 2″; heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°.
  • Working in batches, invert fritters into oil and baste paper with oil until it releases. Remove paper with tongs and continue frying, turning once, until puffed and light brown, 3–4 minutes.
  • Remove fritters from oil and set on paper towels to drain briefly.
  • Transfer to bowl of cinnamon sugar, toss to coat evenly, and then transfer to a serving plate.
  • Pipe about 1 heaping tbsp. ricotta filling into center of each fritter and top with a cherry half; serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Saveur Magazine


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