Serves: 8 to 10 • Time: 30 minutes
Zeppole (or as they are sometimes affectionately called, zeppoli) are most often eaten in Italy on St. Joseph’s Day, a day of feasting that celebrates St. Joseph, a saint who saved Sicilians from famine in the Middle Ages. Though it’s traditionally a springtime treat, we think it makes for a wonderful winter dessert, too. In this version, butter is partially subbed out for pistachio cream from Sicily.
- ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
- 4 Tbsp. pistachio cream
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 qt. peanut oil, for frying, plus more for oiling
- Powdered sugar, for serving
1. In a saucepan over moderate heat, combine the butter, pistachio cream, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly until the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture boils, remove it from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly incorporated. Bring the dough back to the heat and stir with the wooden spoon until it forms a large ball and does not stick to the sides of the pan.
2. Transfer the dough to a bowl or to the bowl of a stand mixer and allow to cool for 2 minutes. Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat in the eggs on medium-low speed one at time, making sure to fully incorporate the each egg before adding the next one.
3. In a heavy skillet, heat the oil to 370°F. Once the oil is hot, fry the dough by carefully dropping 1 tablespoon balls of dough into the oil using 2 oiled spoons. (Alternatively, use a piping bag to press out the dough over the oil, snipping each piece with oiled scissors. Fry each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.
4. Carefully transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or wire rack to drain. Toss in powdered sugar and serve hot.