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Apulian Zeppole

150g flour, 100g oil, 4 eggs, 250g water, Salt, Olive oil for frying.

Ingredients for the patisserie cream:
300g of milk, 3 egg yolks, 80g sugar, 30g white flour, the zest of 1 lemon sliced in pieces, a vanilla bean, black cherries or cherries in syrup.

Procedure for the patisserie cream:
Bring the milk vanilla pod or extract and the lemon zest to the boil. In a separate dish, mix the egg yolks and the sugar with wooden spoon until you have obtained a light creamy mixture (zabaglione). Now add the flour and continue mixing. Remove the lemon zest from the boiled milk and add this, a little at a time to the flour/egg mixture and continue mixing. Return this to the stove and continue mixing, but avoid bringing it to the boil. Pour the cream into another container and allow to cool, but continue to stir all the time.

Preparation for the Zeppole:
In a casserole, place 250g of water, 100g of oil, a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Add the flour through a sieve and mix with a wooden spoon allowing this to cook for 10-12 minutes. Turn onto a working surface and allow to cool, then adding one egg at a time, work the dough, never allowing it to harden. Place the dough in a piping bag and pipe out the zeppole, approximately 10cm balls, onto the greased tray.
Heat the oil in which you will fry the zeppole, a few at a time and they will blow out and colour nicely and uniformly.
Strain them and place them onto absorbent paper. Once they are cool, fill tem with a black cherry and some patisserie cream.
You can also dust them with icing sugar.

A variation would be to bake the zeppole in a 190-200 degree oven, avoiding the frying process which for health reasons may affect some.

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