Ingredients for 8-10 zeppole
for the fritters
70 gr butter
40 gr sugar
1 lemon zest
250 ml water
150 gr all purpose flour
2 gr salt
for the filling
25 gr flour
75 g sugar
250 ml milk
frying and garnishing
8 cherries in syrup
Prepare the filling.
Heat the milk in a saucepan with half a vanilla bean and its seeds. Whisk in a bowl egg yolks and sugar, then add the flour. Eliminate the vanilla bean and pour the milk into the mixture mixing with a whisk. Then transfer the mixture to the stove over medium heat. Stir continuously until the cream becomes fairly dense. The resulting mixture should be soft and creamy. Transfer the pastry cream into a bowl and let cool covering it with a plastic wrap to let cool. Be sure to cover the bowl well so that a film doesn’t form on the surface of the cream.
Prepare the dough for the fritters
Pour water into a saucepan and add the salt and butter. Bring to a boil, while stirring.
Add the flour, leaving the pan on the heat, and mix the batter well using a spoon until the batter is smooth and no longer sticks to the sides of the pan.
Then, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the batter to a bowl to cool.
Once the batter reaches room temperature, add the eggs one at a time and mix together.
Once the batter is fairly light and airy, place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
To shape the fritters, place the fritter batter in a pastry bag with a star-shaped tip.
Cut out 2-in squares of aluminum foil and grease one side of the squares with extra virgin olive oil.
Then, using the pastry bag, form a ring of dough on each foil until you have used all the batter.
Fill a pot with frying oil and place over high heat.
Once hot, place the fritters in the oil, two at a time, with the foil. Do not cook more than two at a time or else the oil will not stay hot.
The foil will separate from the fritters in the hot oil.
Once brown, remove the fritters using a slotted spoon and place them to drain on paper towels while you fry the remaining batter.
Once the fritters are cool enough to handle, fill another pastry bag with pastry cream.
Decorate each fritter with a little cream and place a cherry on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy the zeppole di San Giuseppe.