Zeppole – Gracie’s Italian Doughnuts

My mom loved frying foods and Zeppole, or Italian Doughnuts as she called them, were always a big hit.  I remember she made them every January as the Christmas holiday season was winding down.  Her way of keeping everyone in a festive mood.

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Now I’m not talking about the fried dough or Funnel Cakes you may be accustomed to seeing at Italian feast or carnivals.  I’m talking real good, home fried zeppole made with sugar, eggs and butter.  Mom would dress them up a bit sometimes adding a fresh fruit topping or hot chocolate syrup for dipping.  Yeah I’m still in the holiday baking mood and my New Year’s resolution to get back on a pure Mediterranean diet has yet to kick in.  That being said, enjoy Gracie’s Italian doughnuts!

There really is  no secret to this recipe and I bet if you did a search for zeppole, this formula or one very close to it would pop up.  The important thing when making these doughnuts is to make sure the oil stays between 360° and 375°.  If the oil slips below 350° the zeppoles will soak in too much oil and become greasy.  If you don’t have a hot oil cooking thermometer, do yourself a favor and invest in one.  No home chef should be without this tool.

purple ~ 5 thermapenIngredients: (printable version below)

  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter

  • 3 Tablespoons sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup flour

  • 4 eggs

  • oil, for frying

  • powdered sugar, to dust the zeppole

  • 1 cup water

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar and salt. Cook until the butter melts.

Add the flour and mix vigorously until the dough comes together in a ball. Continue cooking for a minute or two.

Place the dough in the bowl and continue mixing until you don’t see any more steaming rising up from the bowl.  (I use a hand mixer or mix by hand.  If you have a standing mixer, use the paddle attachment).

Add the eggs one at a time and continue mixing as each egg is added.

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Pour at least 2 inches of oil into a large, heavy pan.  Heat up the oil to 375°.

Add small balls of dough directly into the hot oil.  I use a plastic tablespoon measuring device to get the right size for my zeppole.

Fry the zeppole for about five minutes, making certain that they are cooked evenly on all sides.

Use a slotted spoon and remove the zeppole to a paper towel lined baking sheet.  Dust with powered sugar, and control the gang from knocking down the door to get them.

Keeping the oil at 360 to 375 degrees is key in making zeppole.

Keeping the oil at 360 to 375 degrees is key in making zeppole.

 

Zeppole - Gracie's Italian Doughnuts
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
 
Ingredients
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • oil, for frying
  • powdered sugar, to dust the zeppole
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar and salt. Cook until the butter melts.
  2. Add the flour and mix vigorously until the dough comes together in a ball. Continue cooking for a minute or two.
  3. Place the dough in the bowl and continue mixing until you don’t see any more steaming rising up from the bowl. (I use a hand mixer or mix by hand. If you have a standing mixer, use the paddle attachment).
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and continue mixing as each egg is added.
  5. Pour at least 2 inches of oil into a large, heavy pot. Heat up the oil to 375°.
  6. Add small balls of dough directly into the hot oil. I use a plastic teaspoon measuring device to get the right size for my zeppole.
  7. Fry the zeppole for about five minutes, making certain that they are cooked evenly on all sides.
  8. Use a slotted spoon and remove the zeppole to a paper towel lined baking sheet. Dust with powered sugar, and control the gang from knocking down the door to get them.

 

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