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Zeppole, Italian Dessert Pastry

14 Jun 2019

A taste of Italy by way of Charleston, this Zeppole recipe from Chef John Amato at Melfi’s is ready to take on beignets, doughnuts and churros for the title of favorite sweet fried dessert confection.

Somewhere along the way some Americans got the idea that frying should only happen in those industrial drop down baskets at fast food joints. The truth is that pan frying in cast iron is simple, enjoyable and delicious! And pan frying is not just for chicken. These cast iron pan fried zeppoles bring a crave-able taste of Italy to your dessert table. Or eat them on their own for breakfast – we won’t judge. . .

Zeppole, Italian Dessert Pastry

John Amato, Melfi’s / Charleston, SC

What You Need

1.5 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
1 Tiny Pinch of Salt
3 Eggs, Beaten
12 Oz Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Powdered Sugar For Dusting, As Needed

Servings: 8-10


Pre-heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees in a 12" iron skillet.


Combine the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, stir the wet into the dry until fully combined and a thick batter is formed without any dry flour remaining. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes in the refrigerator before using.


Using a 1 oz ice cream scoop (or a spoon), scoop small dollops of dough into the preheated oil. Fry until golden brown, rotating often, until a cake tester comes out clean.


Drain on to paper towels. Dust with a generous amount of powdered sugar. Serve with your favorite condiment, such as preserves, jelly, or jam. At melfi's we serve with Luxardo Cherries. Enjoy.


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