They are the dessert of the Neapolitan tradition associated with Father's Day and are prepared in every family on March 19th. Once they were given to everyone, friends and acquaintances, as a auspicious gesture
A mixture of water and fried flour and then covered with sugar, cinnamon or honey: these were these the zeppole of San Giuseppe until the end of 1800 in Campania, prepared every March 19 for the feast of the saint, which then became the all fathers day. From then on, however, the recipe improved, to become that of choux pastry, stuffed with custard and topped with a black cherry. It is also said that at the beginning of 1900, in Naples, the pastry chef Pintauro had the idea of to fry his San Giuseppe zeppole on the sidewalk in front of his shop, perhaps to compete with the many improvised fryers that invaded the city streets that day. All the authors of the time wrote about the goodness of its zeppole! If you prefer a lighter dessert, know that there is also one light version of fried San Giuseppe zeppole: baked zeppole.
As tradition dictates
Fried St. Joseph's zeppole they are a dessert of the Campania tradition. Legend has it that Joseph, fleeing to Egypt with Mary and Jesus, improvised himself a deep fryer in order to support his family. Therefore, these pancakes have always been the typical dessert for all dads' feasts. In Naples on March 19th all the pastry shops prepare the San Giuseppe zeppole and it is said that in the past years these sweets were given to everyone, relatives and friends, as a good omen.
Our recipe for fried San Giuseppe zeppole
For the custard
3 spoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of flour
500 ml of fresh cream
1 vanilla stick
For the choux pastry
Measure the flour in a glass and then measure as many glasses of water and put them in a saucepan. Add the salt and butter and when the water starts to form bubbles, pour the sifted flour into it and start to mix vigorously with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the pasta detaches from the edge of the saucepan. Transfer it to an oiled surface and when it is lukewarm, work it with your hands, adding the egg yolks and the egg whites one at a time. Work until they are completely absorbed and then let the pasta rest for 30 minutes in a cool place. At this point, take a pastry syringe and pour the pasta into it. Press it by making two spiral overlapping strips on a perforated ladle that you will dip in boiling oil to fry.
For the custard
In a saucepan, whip the egg yolks with the sugar and then add the spoonful of flour. Heat the cream with the vanilla stick, and when it is warm, remove the vanilla and pour the cream over the yolks, stirring constantly with a whisk, so that no lumps form. Continuing to stir, bring to the heat until the cream has thickened. Turn off and let cool. Once cold, pour a little cream on each zeppola and then garnish with small pieces of black cherry jam. Finish with a sprinkling of icing sugar and serve.
In the tutorial some tips to prepare the best zeppole di San Giuseppe.