"Tony Soprano: [over the phone] It's a bad connection so I'm gonna talk fast! The guy you're looking for is an ex-commando! He killed sixteen Chechen rebels single-handed!
Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri: Get the BLEEP outta here.
Tony Soprano: Yeah. Nice, huh? He was with the Interior Ministry. Guy's like a Russian green beret. He can not come back and tell this story. You understand?
Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri: I hear you. [hangs up]
Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri: You're not gonna believe this. He killed sixteen Czechoslovakians. Guy was an interior decorator.
Christopher Moltisanti: His house looked like BLEEP." ~ IMDb Quotes from Paulie 'Walnuts" Gualtieri from "The Sopranos" (1999)
Nothing says St. Joseph's Day better than zeppole! Zeppole di San Giuseppe, as they are traditionally called. Whether you opt for the baked version, or the fried version, you are sure to enjoy every last bite...that is, assuming you like flaky pastry shells and rich, custardy creme fillings...if you don't, then we can't be friends. Sorry.
While the shells were baking, I began the creme filling. Once everything was whisked in the pan, it came together fast; whisk, and whisk, and whisk some more until it comes to a boil, then whisk for 1 more minute. Add in the orange zest, vanilla extract, and (here's where I goofed) 1/2 TBS of your favorite rum...I put in 1 1/2 TBS, whoopsie! (what can I say, Tommy Tew got me excited!). Cover the surface of the custard with plastic, as not to create a skin while it cools; chill it for a bit.
Finally, the last step; fold whipped whipping cream into the custard. Use the Ziploc bag technique again to pipe a ring of creme filling inside each zeppole, and then a little dollop on top, garnish with a cherry (I used my boozy cherries). Homemade zeppole, yay!!!!
So put the leftover corned beef & cabbage aside, just for one day, and celebrate St. Joseph's day with a zeppole...oh, and wear something red.
Print THIS Recipe!
St. Joseph's Day Zeppole
Recipe adapted from, keyingredient.com
makes 8 servings
For The Pastry Shells:
1 cup water
4 TBS butter
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Over medium heat, combine water, butter, sugar, and salt; bring to a boil and remove from heat, turn burner down to low. Add flour and stir until just combined; return to stove and continue to stir over low heat until a doughball is formed - remove from heat. Transfer to a stand mixer (a handheld mixer will work too on a low speed), add eggs on at a time, beating well and scraping the sides of the bowl upon adding each egg. Batter should be smooth and glossy.
Allow mixture to cool; meanwhile trace 2 1/2 inch circles on the underside of the parchment paper - use these as a guide when piping the spirals. When mixture has cooled a bit, add into a pastry bag. Beginning in the center of each traced circle, start spiraling out to fill the circle, then go around the outside of the circles to build up the outer wall. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
For The Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
2 TBS cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1/2 - 1 TBS rum
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest
3/4 cup whipping cream, whipped
In a bowl, whisk together milk and egg yolks. In a saucepan, over medium heat add milk and egg mixture, whisk in sugar and cornstarch. Whisk constantly until boiling, then whisk vigorously for another minute. Remove from heat, add orange zest, rum and vanilla. Transfer into a bowl, cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
When the shells and the custard have cooled, whip the whipping cream until thick peaks are formed, fold into custard. Add creme mixture into a pastry bag. Slice the shells in half, pipe a ring of creme inside each shell, and a small ring of creme atop each filled shell. Top with a cherry. Refrigerate until ready to serve; cover leftovers with plastic wrap to avoid the creme from drying out.
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