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Zeppole Recipes
Ingredients:

2 cups water
1 cup unsalted butter
1-3/4 cups flour, sifted
10 eggs
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Directions:

Bring the water and butter to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the flour and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes.
The mixture should be very dry and come away from the sides of the pan.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Then begin to add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
Continue to beat until the dough is very smooth.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer or wide, deep saucepan to 350 to 375 degrees F.
Drop batter by heaping tablespoons into the oil, a few at a time, without
crowding.  The zeppole should cook for about 5 minutes getting very brown
and crisp.  Drain them on paper towels and let them cool a few minutes.
Sift confectioners sugar over the top.


Ricotta Filling for Zeppole

You can fill zeppole after they are fried and cooled.  Put the filling in a pastry
bag with a plain tube with a 1/2-inch opening.  Push the tip into the side of
each zeppole and squeeze some of the filling inside.  Alternately, you can
cut the zeppole almost in half and spoon some of the filling into the center.

Ricotta Filling:
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Combine all the ingredients with an electric mixer.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes before filling zeppole.
Cinnamon Zeppole
(Makes about 30)

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flour
3 eggs

Vegetable oil for deep frying
Directions:

Mix cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.  Set aside. Combine water, butter, and salt
in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter melts. Bring to a boil Add
flour and stir to blend. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until dough
forms a ball, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time,
blending well after each addition. When complete, dough should be glossy and
smooth.

Heat oil in a deep saucepan or deep fryer. Carefully drop mounded tablespoons
of dough into the oil. Cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Only fry a
few at a time or as many as your pan will hold without crowding. Use a slotted
spoon to remove the zeppole from the oil and place on paper towels to drain.
Immediately roll zeppole in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve warm.

Note:  Frying the dough for 3-4 minutes will give you a tender zeppole.
Frying for 5 minutes will give you a crisper zeppole.
Cinnamon Zeppole
Cinnamon Zeppole
Zeppole  with Powdered Sugar
(Makes 18 - 20 zeppole)
 
 
 
Zeppole are a fried Italian pastry that are served warm and dusted with confectioners' sugar or
cinnamon-sugar.  They can also be filled with a sweetend ricotta cheese.  Zeppole are a
traditional treat made for St. Joseph's Day which is March 19.  Fried pastries are also a typical
sweet made for Carnevale, which is similar to Mardi Gras in the US, and is the final celebration
before Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent.
RECIPES
Cinnamon Zeppole
Zeppole with Powdered Sugar
Ricotta Filling for Zeppole
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REGIONAL ITALIAN COOKING
TIPS FOR DEEP-FRYING
Deep-frying is submerging food in oil or fat
and cooking it quickyly at a high
temperature.  The science behind deep-
frying is quite simple: when the oil is hot
enough, the surface of the food will cook
instantly, forming a seal that the fat can't
penetrate. At the same time, the moisture
inside the food is converted to steam,
which cooks the food from the surface
inwards.
If the oil temperature isn't high enough, the
food will emerge greasy and may stick
together. If it's too hot, the exterior of the
food will cook too quickly and burn before
the inside is cooked. For this reason, a
deep-frying or confectionery thermometer is
useful, as it helps you maintain a constant
temperature. Alternatively, you can use an
electric deep-fryer with an in-built
thermostat, which makes it easier to set
and maintain the temperature. 

Once the oil has reached the desired
temperature, use a metal slotted spoon to
carefully lower in your ingredients. Avoid
overcrowding the pan - while you need
enough oil to cover the food, it's important
to leave room for it to rise. Ingredients
should also be at room temperature - food
that has been chilled will reduce the oil
temperature.

When turning food in the oil, use
something rounded (such as a spoon or
tongs), as pointed utensils (such as a fork)
can pierce the surface and cause moisture
to escape. After deep-frying, drain food,
then serve immediately - deep-fried food is
best eaten piping hot!