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Seeking recipe for zeppole

Debbie_D's picture

Zeppole are Italian. Small pieces of dough are fried up and sprinkled with sugar. At least that's the kind of zeppole I got when I was growing up in Brooklyn. Now I would like to recreate them. Any recipes out there?

Wolverine's picture

(post #25577, reply #1 of 7)

From "Italian Immigrant Cooking" by Elodia Rigante she was raised in NY's " Little Italy"

*1/2 cup butter
*6 tbsps sugar
*4 eggs
*2 tbsp veggie oil
*4 tbsps brandy
*1/2 tsp salt
*1 tbsp grated lemon peel
*1 1/2 cups flour
* veggie shortening for deep frying
*confectioners' sugar

Cream butter and sugar together in a medium bowl. Mix in the eggs, oil, brandy, salt, lemon peel, and flour. Heat the shortening in a skillet and drop teaspoons of the batter into it. ( any oil can be substituted ) Fry several zeppole at a time over medium heat until they get puffy and golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot, sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

Hope this is it!

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #25577, reply #2 of 7)

The above recipe sounds extremely delicious - but I remember
i zeppole
being much plainer. Where I was raised, they sold
i zeppole
in every pizzeria and they are a staple of street fairs or "feasts" as we called them.

Unfortunately, at the last 18th Avenue Feast (Brooklyn, NY), a terrible trend was evident,
i gouging people $3 for 7 zeppole!
For fried dough! The nerve! Coupled with the exhorbitant price...I stopped eating
i zeppole
at street fairs about 5 years ago when I saw a young man mixing a vat of batter...while sweating into it.

Now, when I want
i zeppole,
I make them myself. It's much more sanitary that way.


* 1 1/2 cups flour
* 4 tsp. baking powder
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 2 tbls. sugar
* 1 lb. ricotta
* 3 eggs
* Oil for deep frying (Vegetable or corn or safflower)

Mix flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a stand mixer, mix eggs and sugar with the paddle attachment to combine thoroughly. Add ricotta and blend well. With the mixer running on slow/medium speed, add the dry ingredients to the wet.

Heat oil in a deep saucepan or deep fryer heated to around 375. Drop batter in scant quartercupfuls into oil and fry until browned on all sides. Remove, and drain on brown paper bag or paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Best eaten while fresh!

kai_'s picture

(post #25577, reply #3 of 7)

Bless you {{{{{{{{Chiff}}}}}}}

Debbie_D's picture

(post #25577, reply #4 of 7)

Oh yum! That sounds pretty close - I don't remember lemon or brandy, but experimentation seems called for!

I wonder if the pizzeria at the corner of Avenue U and East 23rd Street is still there? I remember zeppole at maybe a nickel each. A slice of pizza and a coke were 15 cents, a great lunch when you were in elementary school (two blocks from PS 206).

Debbie D

Debbie_D's picture

(post #25577, reply #5 of 7)

Thanks, Chiff. Riccota, eh? I never would have guessed.

It's too bad that my kitchen is South Indian tonight. (tomato rasam, sambaar, carrot salad) I will just have to wait until next weekend to try this!

Debbie D

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #25577, reply #6 of 7)

Next week when you make
i zeppole,
remember to talk with your hands and kiss each other a lot :)

Wolverine's picture

(post #25577, reply #7 of 7)

It's like Elodia says: every Italian has a slightly different way to make the same dish - regions vary, etc.

To me, that is what makes cooking so great - all the variations that can be tried & yummed over! I will try the ricotta version next weekend - I'm sure my family will love it!!