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My 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.

Categories: Creamy  Filling  Misc. Dessert  Sweet 

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