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BackstoryMy long standing favorite Italian pastry is especially popular in RI, and especially today, March 19th. Celebrating St. Joseph's Day is a great reason to make some, but they are delicious any time. Visit my blog for the whole zeppoli story!
- For the Pastry:1 c. water
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbls. sugar
- 1 c. all purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- Zest of one lemon and one orange
- For the custard: 1 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 c. whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 Tbls. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbls. rum (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large saucepan, combine the water and butter, and bring to a boil. Add the salt and flour, whisking constantly until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan to form a ball in the center. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating them in completely. Add the sugar, lemon zest, and orange zest. Mix well.
- Drop by large tablespoon (or use a large pastry bag to pipe large mounds) onto a baking sheet, placing the puffs three inches apart.
- Bake for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for thirty minutes or until golden.
- Remove the puffs from the oven.
- Open the puffs immediately at the top to allow steam to escape.
- Cool completely before filling and make the custard.
- In saucepan over moderate heat, combine sugar, flour and salt.
- Add milk gradually, cooking and stirring until mixture is thick and bubbly. Lower heat, stirring for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
- In small bowl, add cream mixture to eggs slowly. Return mixture back to pan. Bring to gently boil for 2 more minutes, adding butter, rum, and vanilla. Tranfer to a shallow bowl to cool, placing plastic wrap on the top of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Refrigerate.
- Once custard has cooled completely, pipe into opened pastry shells until they are so full they might pop, top with a cherry, and dust with powdered sugar.