St. Joseph's Day Zeppole

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
St. Joseph's Day Pastry is a tradition that started in the 19th century in Italy that is celebrated on March 19th.


There are so many different versions of these fabulous Italian pastries made in all parts of Italy along with worldwide.


Zeppole are special fritters, fried doughs, or donuts, made in expectation of the Feast of St. Joseph that falls on March the 19th.


There are several recipes to chose from different parts of Italy who make them entirely different along with here in America.


San Guiseppe is the day for zeppole, and I make them every year to celebrate the day.



In Italy, the pastry shops make these in huge quantities on March 19th and give them out free to anyone who was lucky enough to be named "Giuseppe," (Joseph)


We just love making Italian pastries like Cannoli, Cannoli Pie, Mom's Italian Easter Cassata, and all-time favorite Eggless Tiramisu.


Our family's favorite is the creamy ricotta filling in our cream puff style pastry.


Just scroll down to see all the different recipes and versions of this delicious Italian pastry called St. Joseph's Day zeppole.





this is cream puff dough filled with a creamy ricotta filling for St. Joseph's Day.









Zeppole Recipes for St. Joseph's Day



All recipes are in the printable recipe card below.


Just scroll down to print off the one you want.


All Regions make different versions of zeppole in Italy.


These are among the ones I have made through the years with mom and my grandmother.


The photos are there to show you what they look like and hopefully, you find the one you love.





these are pastries to celebrate St. Joseph's Day made with ricotta filling and cream puff dough







Sicilian Style Zeppole


These are a fritter style batter and deep-fried with ricotta added in the batter.

They are then drained on paper towels and rolled into cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar.



this is a glass bowl of fried donuts zeppole






Italian Fried Dough (also know as pizza fritta)



this is fried pizza dough dough with sugar on top



Easy To Make Dessert


You will find this at most Italian feasts in upstate new york.

Usually, pizza fritta is deep-fried right in front of you at those church feasts, then sprinkled with powdered or granulated sugar.




this is a cast iron pan frying dough in oil




Grandma's Roman Zeppole Version


Made with honey and raisins, Grandma called Crispelles (these were often made around Christmas stuffed with anchovies).


This is a yeast-risen dough.




yeast risen dough with raisins frying


Traditions



These were always traditional fried honey glazed and yeast-risen treat during the holidays.


Grandma was from Rome, Italy and crispelles were her specialties.


The honey glaze made them extra sweet and the dough is soft and pillow-like.




this is an Italian dough frying in oil called crispelles





Crispelles After Frying



After the dough is fried, they are drained on paper towels then coated with honey.


Again, at Christmas time they were stuffed with anchovies for Christmas Eve traditions of the 7 Fishes.





these are deep fried risen dough in honey




Zeppole Fritters



These are much like a donut and with simple pantry ingredients and cinnamon in the dough.


These are served also rolled in granulated sugar, cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar.




these are fritters fried





Mom's Cream Puff Dough and Recipe



These are just filled with whipped cream.


The cream puff dough is the recipe I use for filling with St. Joseph's Pastry Cream.


This is what the cream puffs look like after filled with regular heavy cream whipped.





this is a st joseph's day cream puff



My Pastry Cream Version of  American Style Bakery St. Joseph's Day Pastry filled



I do use a cafe creamy style pastry filling with ricotta cheese and it's all made from scratch.


You will find these in most American pastry shops during St. Joseph's Day.


I also make the puff pastry recipe mom used for her cream puff recipe.


Here are the photos below of two different years I made them.



these are cream puff pastry filling with a creamy pudding and cherry on top


Cafe Cream Filled



I always go back to this recipe, which is the first in the recipe card.


Our family enjoys the ricotta creamy filling much like a cannoli filling just a little thicker.


See the recipe below in the printable recipe card.








Puff Pastry with Ricotta Cream Filling



Same cafe-style filling just with sprinkles on top using the cream puff pastry filling.

Every year I make a different style.


The puff pastry on these has been piped through a pastry tube to form the swirling effect.




St. Joseph's Day Pastries with sprinkles on top



Pin St. Joseph's Day Zeppole Celebration for Later




this is a pin for St. Joseph's Day Pastries






Step By Step Photos of St. Joseph's Day Pastries


If you would like to have step by step photos of these pastries, you can find that on


another post I made on how to make St. Joseph's Day Pastries using a pastry tool.







 St. Joseph's Day Zeppole

March 19th St. Joseph's Zeppole Celebration

Yield: 1
Author:
March 19th St Joseph's Day. These pastries are made completely different in every Region in Italy from fritters to a creamy filled puff pastry. Here in America we also have a version. There are more that 3 versions here to choose from over the years I have had them by many pastry chefs.

ingredients:

  • Here is the Version I use every year in the photo used above
  • St. Joseph's Day Pastry and mom's cream puff recipe that follows:
  • Cafe Style filling this is the one I use most often:
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2/3 cup Ricotta cheese whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • In a small heavyweight saucepan, beat the yolks, sugar, salt, and flour all at once until all lumps are gone. Slowly add milk and whisk to make a smooth consistency. Heat slowly over medium heat till this mixture thickens stirring constantly.
  • At the very start, whisk slowly and then a little quicker as the cream starts feeling thicker. Wait for a simmering boil to appear. At this point lower the heat to very low as you finish getting the perfect creamy consistency. As the whisk leaves a trail as it stirs, this is the indication that the cream is ready. When the pudding has thickened remove from stove and cover with wax paper not to form a skin. Refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.
  • Ricotta
  • In a bowl add ricotta, sugar and almond flavoring, stir till completely mixed. 
  • Fold in the pudding. 
  • Fill cream puffs. I like to roll the edges in mini chocolate chips.
  • Keep refrigerated. These also look nice with a mixture of powdered sugar and water glaze with a cherry on top.

instructions:

How to cook March 19th St. Joseph's Zeppole Celebration

  1. Zeppole DI San Giuseppe (St. Joseph's Day Cream Puffs)
  2. Mom's Version (Bari Style) 
  3. Cream Puff Dough
  4. 1 cup of water
  5. 1 stick butter
  6. 1 cup flour
  7. 4 eggs
  8. 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  9. 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  10. Beat eggs in a bowl set aside. Measure 1 cup flour and set aside.
  11. In a heavy nonstick saucepan, pour 1 cup water and a stick of butter (not margarine) add zests and bring to a boil on medium heat, leave on heat and add flour stirring quickly with a wooden spoon until the flour is dissolved and comes together.
  12. Remove from heat, add eggs and beat very rapidly with the wooden spoon until a ball of dough if formed...Note it's very important to beat this fast.
  13. Spoon one tablespoon of dough or teaspoon for small puffs on an ungreased cookie sheet. Shape into logs for eclairs or round for cream puffs. Bake on 400 for 1/2 hour, do not open oven or puffs will not cook correctly. When browned remove from oven, cool, cut in half to fill.
  14. You can fill with puffs whipped cream, Italian pastry creme, vanilla pudding. Eclairs also will have chocolate frosting on top filled with vanilla pudding
  15. Remove to a rack and cool completely. Cut a slit in the side of each puff and fill with below filling or sweetened whipped cream:
  16. Mom's  Creamy Ricotta Filling
  17. 3 cups Ricotta cheese
  18. 1 ¼ cups sugar
  19. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  20. 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  21. 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  22. 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
  23. Combine all ingredients except chips and beat with electric mixer about 10 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.
  24. Here is another version called fried Italian dough.
  25. The link will have the recipe for the dough and how to make it.
  26. Some like it with cinnamon and sugar, confectionery sugar, regular sugar. Folks spread them with butter, peanut butter or jam. At Italian feasts, this is a very popular Italian fried dough in place in Upstate New York.
  27. Zeppole (fritter style)
  28. 1 tablespoon vanilla
  29. 1/2 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
  30. 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  31. 1 stick butter
  32. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  33. 1 cup of water
  34. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  35. 4 eggs
  36. Olive oil, for frying
  37. Add the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Set aside.
  38. In a medium saucepan combine the butter, salt, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil. 
  39. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour. Return pan to the heat and stir continuously until mixture forms a ball, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the flour mixture to a medium bowl. 
  40. Using an electric hand mixer on low speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, incorporating each egg completely before adding the next. Beat until smooth. If not frying immediately, cover with plastic wrap and reserve in the refrigerator.
  41. Meanwhile, pour enough oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees.
  42. Using a large tablespoon carefully drop about a tablespoon of the dough into the hot olive oil, frying in batches. Turn the zeppole once or twice, cooking until golden and puffed up about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Toss with cinnamon-sugar. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately.
  43. Grandma's Verison ( with honey she called them Crispelles):
  44. 1 pkg. dry yeast
  45. 1 1/2 cups warm water
  46. 4 cups flour
  47. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  48. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  49. 2 eggs
  50. 1 cup raisins (soaked in Brandy till plump)
  51. Canola oil, for deep-frying (she used vegetable oil)
  52. Honey preferred or
  53. Powdered Sugar
  54. Mix dry yeast with warm water in a small bowl. In a large bowl, add flour, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the flour with a wooden spoon, and add the eggs, water, and yeast. Mix dry ingredients into well, little by little, until it reaches bread dough consistency (if the dough still sticks to the bowl, add more flour). If using raisins drain, and fold in this point. Cover and let rise until double in bulk.
  55. In a Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 375 degrees. Fry dough by the tablespoonful in hot oil (dip a spoon in flour, if necessary, to keep the dough from sticking). Drain on paper towels. Place zeppole in a large bowl and pour honey(grandma's style) or powder sugar over them.
  56. Sicilian Style Italian Zeppole
  57. 2-1/2 cups self-rising flour
  58. 1- 1/2 lb. Ricotta Whole Milk( 1- 16 oz and 1- 8 oz container)
  59. 4 eggs
  60. 1/2 cup sugar
  61. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  62. cinnamon and sugar mixture (enough to coat after frying)
  63. Heat a dutch oven 2 inches deep with vegetable oil
  64. Beat 4 eggs, the ricotta, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  65. Add the flour and mix well.
  66. In case the batter is a little stiff add a small amount of milk and mix gently.
  67. Gently drop by tablespoons into the hot oil. Drain on paper towels.
  68. Roll freshly fried zeppole in cinnamon and sugar mixture or powdered sugar.
dessert, Italian dessert, St. Joseph's Day pastry,pastry cream, pastry cream puff dough, fritters, fried dough, zeppole
Italian pastry, St. Joseph's Day, holiday, puff pastry recipes, pastry cream recipes
Italian
Created using The Recipes Generator









Pin St. Joseph's Day Zeppole Celebration for Later










Don't Miss Trying Some Other Favorite Italian Desserts



Lady Finger Lemon Dessert


Cannoli Mousse


Sfogliatella Italian Pastry


Napoleon

Italian Pusties Pastaciotti Pastry





Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2011. It was edited and re-published in 2020.

31 comments

  1. Those zeppoles look so lovely after coated with sugar.
    Didn't know there's such a celebration..

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just did a post about these, too!It was interesting doing the researchon them. I was trying to replicate what I recall as a child, and the closest I came was Giada's which sounds much like the first one, although one version of hers were cinnamom sugar coated

    ReplyDelete
  3. We have two Giuseppe in the family and I know my Father-in-law would love to try out the baked version.

    Thanks for such an array of possibilities towards such a celebrated event in my family ;o)

    Have a great weekend,
    Claudia

    ReplyDelete
  4. How many zeppole versions! And all very tasty! My mom filled them with custard and black cherry. What pleasant memories. Bye, have a great we

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'll take a dozen of each. They look great Claudia!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You don't realize how much I love zeppole! I am so happy to have this recipe. I will even fry for these. Love getting these at festivals but it's not very often. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Always wondered about zeppoles being sold in Little Italy. Thanks to you, I now know their cultural significance & that they're similar to........mmmm.. .beignets.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Soooo good! These look like sweet Cayman fritters. I'm gonna have to give these puppies a try :)

    By the way I've given you an award over at Deep Dish today. Thanks for being an awesome blog.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm looking forward to trying some of these. My husband's mother is from Bari. She calls them efritt. Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I remember crispelli! We use to eat them at the big celebration for the Feast of the Three Saints in Massachusetts. You could get them plain, with powdered sugar, or savory with a small piece of anchovy inside them. The anchovy ones were actually quite delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I adore these and used to down them regularly at the Feast of Saint Gennaro in NYC. These days I bake them (it's an age thing.) I'm really interested in the ricotta version - although all of them have great appeal!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You always share the best family recipes! Each one of these looks better than the next!! The cream one at the end - OMG Delicious!!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Now this is the way to celebrate. Beautiful zeppole, Claudia.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am so glad that you posted about St. Joe's Day and zeppele! I didn't make any this weekend cuz I was outside all day gardening, but I am living this tradition through your great post, Claudia. Thank you for carrying on and educating others about this wonderful tradition!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am in awe of these doughnuts! Here I am born on St. Josephs day and I have never had one of these. Amazing. I'm going to have to remedy that soon.You've done a brilliant job as always Claudia.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh wow... they look so delicious! And so many different versions, which I'm sure resonates around the different cultures around the world as well... we all loved deep fried goodies!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Claudia This is a gorgeous display and lovely tribute! I'm I'm holding a small Nutella (brunch) party tomorrow otherwise I would try your Mom's version!

    I want to mail you a Nutella travel cup and some coupons. Please email me your address.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love this Claudia! I think it's fascinating to learn about different food traditions from different cultures. I also love that within your family you have so many versions of this dish. Are you familiar with sopapillas from hispanic cuisine? The first recipe sounds similar. They are usually eaten with honey. They all sound delicious. Thanks for the education.

    ReplyDelete
  19. A great way to spend the holiday eating these treats!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I wish I read this yesterday but that didn't stop me. I had to share it anyway with our Montillo Italian Foods' Facebook fans. Nicely done and thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Double yum! Both such fabulous desserts...thanks for sharing some of your family's recipes, Claudia~

    ReplyDelete
  22. While these aren't the same St. Joseph's Day pastries I'm used to, they all look delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh this all looks so good and yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  24. These are all so scrumptious! I might need to taste test them all!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Claudia your Zeppole look so delicious..I am making them often because my kids just love it! And I have an eye for that cream puff..got to check that out :))
    Have a wonderful week!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow! Another post about zeppoles - they are calling me! The recipe that was on My Kitchen Rules (TV Show in Australia) included potatoes. Love that there are so many variation!

    ReplyDelete
  27. The Zeppoles look fantastic!!! I love St. Josephs Day. We do the Sicilian Style, I have never seen so many varities, I will have to spread my wings here!!! Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ive never had a zeppole but they do look delicious!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. You had me at "soaked in brandy"

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'd like to sample them ALL! Your family is very lucky, Claudia!! xo

    ReplyDelete
  31. I never knew about St. Joseph's Day before! Boy have I been missing out! Your pastries and donuts all look soooo tempting and delightful. What a treat.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for your kind words and questions, I will try and reply to each of them. If you need help right away, contact me on Facebook or my email @pegasuslegend24@gmail.com