"The tradition of Italian cooking is that of the matriarch. This is the cooking of grandma. She didn't waste time thinking too much about the celery. She got the best celery she could and then she dealt with it."--Mario Batali

Sfingi or St. Joseph’s Day Zeppole Recipe

  Tried it? Rate this Recipe:


This recipe for Sfingi or St. Joseph’s Day Zeppole, by , is from The Koplitz Family Cookbook Project, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Liz Koplitz


Ricotta Cream Filling

One 15 Ounce Container Ricotta
3/4 Cup Confectioners' Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Mimi Chocolate Chips
1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Candied Citron or Orange Peel


1 Cup Water
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted Butter
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Unbleached Flour
4 Large Eggs
Vegetable Oil for Frying
Candied Cherries - Cut in Half for Garnish
2 Tablespoons Chopped Unsalted Pistachios for Garnish (Optional)
Confectioners' Sugar

In a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and candied fruit. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

To make the puffs, bring the water, the butter and the salt to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the flour all at once and stir well with a wooden spoon until the flour is completed incorporated.

Return the saucepan to medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly and turning the dough often, until the dough begins to leave a thin film on the bottom of the saucepan (about 3 minutes). This dries the dough so the puffs so the puffs will be crisp. With a rubber spatula, scrape the dough into a large bowl. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Continue to bet until smooth - about 2 minute more.

In a deep heavy saucepan or deep fryer, heat about 3 inches of oil until the temperature reaches 375 degrees F on a deep frying thermometer or until a small bit of the dough dropped into the oil sizzles and turns brown in 1 minute. With a tablespoon, scoop up a rounded spoonful of batter and with another spoon, carefully push the dough into the oil so that it doesn't splash. Continue to add the dough by the spoonfuls without crowding the pan. The dough will puff up and double in size so do not add too many at one time or they will stick together. Cook, turning them often, until the dough breaks open - about 4 minutes. Continue to cook 1 to 2 minute more or until crisp and golden brown. Remove the fritters with a slotted spoon or skimmer and place them on paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining dough. Let cool slightly.

With a small knife, split fritter partway open. Spoon the cream inside, allowing it to show through the split. Press a cherry half into the cream and sprinkle with pistachios (optional). (If it is not St. Joseph's Day, you can just shake these, without the filling in a bag with confectioners' sugar and serve as donuts.)

Dust the sfingi with confectioers' sugar. These are best right after they are made.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
As children, we looked forward to having these on St. Joseph's Day. My grandmother made them and every NY Italian bakery made them for that feast day. Great memories. You can add chocolate to the ricotta and make chocolate versions of these but the originals are the best.




Learn more about the process to create a cookbook -- or
Start your own personal family cookbook right now!  Here's to good eating!

Search for more great recipes here from over 1,500,000 in our family cookbooks!


Bookmark and Share




Cookbooks are great for Holiday Gifts, Wedding Gifts, Bridal Shower ideas and Family Reunions!

*Recipes and photos entered into the Family Cookbook Project are provided by the submitting contributors. All rights are retained by the contributor. Please contact us if you believe copyright violations have occurred.

Search for more great recipes here from over 1,500,000 in our family cookbooks!