It’s National Donut Day, a day in which we celebrate pillows of golden fried love. The variations of these heavenly clouds are endless. Yeasted, cake, with and without holes, but my favorite that comes to mind is definitely Zeppoli. During my summers spent in New York around Queens and Brooklyn, I always looked forward to the different Greek and Italian Festivals where the food vendors would change weekly. The aroma of bubbling kettles, filled with sweetened dough and oil, still stir old memories of walking along the river with grease stained paper bags piled mile high with piping hot snowballs. These Zeppoli will transport you there and taste like summer in every tender bite.
Let the batter rest for at least 15-20 mins to let the orange zest infuse the batter. The mix can be made up to 2-4 hrs ahead of time if needed. If you’re not a huge fan of ricotta, try a combination of mascarpone and milk or any other sweet Italian fresh cheese. Use a small scoop to drop the batter into the oil and remember, they look better when they’re not perfect. Get creative and add chocolate chips, pistachios, limoncello, or even fresh fruit for unique variations.
|Prep Time||10 mins|
|Cook Time||10 mins|
|Passive Time||15 mins|
- 1 1/2 c Soft Pastry or AP Flour Add 1/4 c if batter is too runny
- 1 3/4 tbls Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 tbls Baking Powder
- 2 lrg Eggs
- 1 c Fresh Ricotta
- 1 c Milk
- 1 tbls Orange Zest
- Squeeze Orange or Lemon Juice
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 c Powdered Sugar for dusting after
- 2-4 c Oil for Frying
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together all dries except for the sugar and powdered sugar. Make a small hole in the middle of the dries.
- Add the eggs and sugar to the center of the flour. Whisk to combine. Add the ricotta and whisk until blended. Add the milk, vanilla, juice, and zest. Whisk the entire mixture until just combined. Wrap and allow the batter to rest in the fridge for 15 mins.
- In a deep pot, fill with the appropriate amount of oil at least 2 inches deep. Measure with a thermometer until oil reaches 340-350f degrees.
- Prepare a rack for draining or paper towel-lined tray to absorb any access oil. When batter is ready, remove from the fridge.
- Carefully spoon, using a 1 inch ice cream scoop or two soup spoons, dropping tablespoons of batter into the oil. Gently flip the donuts every 20-30 seconds with a total fry time of 2 mins or until centers of the dough are thoroughly cooked and all sides are golden. Using tongs or a slotted mesh spoon, remove the zeppoli and place on the rack/tray to drain.
- Dust the zeppoli on the tray or divide the donuts equally into paper bags and add one tablespoon or more of powdered sugar into the bags to close and shake. Serve these beautiful donuts fresh and hot.