St. Joseph’s Day Pastry

St. Joseph’s Day Pastry, sometimes called Zeppole, or Sfingi. It’s simply a basic puff pastry or pate choux recipe. This recipe is from which I’ve been making for years. The pastry cream recipe is from



Preheat oven to 425 degrees. — Prepare sheet pan with parchment paper.

Have the piping bag and star tip ready for pastry dough.

  1. In a medium size saucepan add the water, butter, salt and sugar. Bring to a rolling boil.
  2. When it boils remove from the heat and add the flour all at once stirring vigorously until the flour is well incorporated (takes approx. 30 seconds). Add the pan back to the heat and continue stirring for a minute to evaporate some of the moisture.
  3. Remove pan from heat and add one egg at a time. Stirring vigorously to incorporate the egg with the flour mixture, continue for the remaining eggs.
  4. Return pan to heat and stir for another 30 seconds to evaporate some of the moisture.
  5. Spoon the pastry dough into the pastry bag and pipe onto the parchment paper.
  6. Pipe the dough into circles – go around twice for each circle to give it height (so you can slice it in half to fill).
  7. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes – REDUCE heat to 375 degrees and continue baking for 20-25 minutes, depending on thickness.
  8. Cool on pan for 10 minutes then remove to rack.
  9. Cut the pastry circles in half and fill with pastry cream.

Pastry Cream Filling

  1. In a medium size saucepan combine milk, ¼ cup of sugar, vanilla & salt. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
  2. In medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in ½ cup of the hot milk into the egg yolks, continue to slowly add the remaining milk to the eggs – continually stirring until the mixture is well blended.
  3. Add this mixture back to the saucepan, stirring constantly continue to cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. This should take about 2-4 minutes – depending on your stove.
  4. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a bowl – add in the butter and using a mixer beat mixture until the butter melts and the mixture cools – approx. 5 minutes -You can use a stand mixer for this if you have one.
  5. Cover mixture with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours before using.
  6. When ready to use the cream whisk briskly to smooth the cream (or use a mixer)

Keywords: Italian Cannoli Dip, Appetizer, Party Food, Easy Recipe

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