Sunday, March 13, 2011

Baked Zeppole

Next Saturday is March 19th. For Catholics that means St Joseph's Day. In the Catholic religion, St Joseph was the "Foster Father" of  Jesus, husband of the Virgin Mary. This is primarily an Italian Holiday, but where I come from, Everyone got in on it! My favorite part of this day is the Italian Pastry. As I no longer live in the Northeast, a Great Baked Zeppole is almost impossible to find. I so miss being able to trot up to Federal Hill or to North Providence and stop by Lasalle Bakery for a wonderful variety. You had to choose baked or fried, then you have your choice of cream. You can have, Canoli cream, "Italian" cream, Baileys, Amaretto, Chocolate the choices go on and on.
I braved it this year and decided I was going to make my own. Wow! There are only a few recipes online and you are hard pressed to find one for a "baked" Zeppole
As I had never made them before I was daring but not so daring to go with "flavored" cream...I stuck with the Traditional  "Italian" boiled cream I already knew how to make. LOL

Here is my version, Hope you enjoy!

Baked Zeppole

Ingredients:
Shells:
1/2 cup sugar + 3 tbsp.
1 Stick Butter
4 Eggs (large)
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Water
1 1/2 cup Flour

Cream Filling:
1 tbsp Butter
1 cup Whole Milk
1 cup Heavy Cream
7 tbsp Sugar
4 tbsp Cornstarch
3 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla

Garnish

Maraschino Cherries
Confectioners/Powdered Sugar.

Instructions Cream:

Mix together Eggs, sugar and cornstarch. Cream until ribbon texture.
Set aside.

In heavy saucepan bring milk, cream and butter to a boil.
Remove from heat and while whisking continuously, add egg mixture.
Move back to heat for one minute. Do not stop mixing!
Continue mixing for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.




Instructions Shells:

Preheat oven to 425° f.

Sift together flour, Salt and baking soda, set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, heat the water, add the butter and sugar, when melted, remove pan from the stove and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat with a wooden spoon or silicone spoonula, then return the pan to medium-high heat, beating the mixture until it comes away from the sides of the pan. 

Remove the pan from the heat. Let mixture cool 15 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating with hand mixer to blend each in well before adding the next egg.
Fill a pastry or ziploc bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain nozzle with some of the cream puff mixture. Squeeze out 1 1/4-inch puffs about 1/2 inch apart on cookie sheet. 


Bake the cream puffs in preheated 425ºF (220ºC) oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. When done, carefully slit the side of each cream puff with a knife to allow steam to escape and prevent the puffs from becoming soggy inside. Transfer the cream puffs to cooling racks. May keep shells in closed container for a couple days to up to a week before filling.

Assembly:

Cute each shell in half, revealing a top and bottom. 
Fill each shell with 2 tbsp cream.
Cover with top
Add 1 tsp cream to top.
Dust with powdered sugar and maraschino cherry.

Serve.
Enjoy!

** So Sorry for my lack of rechecking this recipe...Please note there is sugar in the shells and it needs to be added in the water and butter mixture. Also there are 4 eggs(not in the ingredient list, but in the instructions)
Sorry for the confusion...My editing apparently was missing on that day. I was very excited about the recipe!
Enjoy!!!