Happy St. Joseph’s Day! Now, everyone can partake in the festivities with a gluten-free version of zeppole or sfince/sfinge di San Giuseppe. I used the basic gluten-free cream puff recipe from King Arthur Flour. However, I did not have gf King Arthur flour on hand, so I used a homemade blend. My blend is from the all-purpose flour blend in Gluten Free & More magazine with a little tweak.
Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
1 1/2 cups sweet rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
OK, so you will still use 3/4 cup of this flour blend to make the cream puffs. Follow the directions for cream puffs. I spooned generous tablespoons of dough onto the parchment paper. For me, it made 8 cream puffs. When they are cooled, you will add the ricotta filling.
about 2 lbs. ricotta (or two containers, some containers are 15 oz.), drained in a colander or cheesecloth to remove excess water
1 cup confectioners’ sugar (or to taste, if you like it more or less sweet)
candied citron or orange peel
Mix the ricotta and sugar. If it is too thick, add a bit of milk (not too much because you don’t want it liquidy). If you want, you can add some chocolate chips or candied citron. You can also decorate them with candied citron, candied orange peel, crushed pistachios, and/or a maraschino cherry.
–Dina Di Maio
Happy St. Joseph’s Day! Many cultures celebrate March 19 in honor of St. Joseph (San Giuseppe), the husband of the Blessed Mother and the patron saint of workers and pastry chefs. In New Orleans, Italian Americans have parades and a St. Joseph’s Day table. There are two pastries that are popular on this day. One is zeppole–not the fried dough balls from street fairs. Known as zeppole di San Giuseppe, this Neapolitan pastry is a choux that sandwiches a custard cream, often with a cherry on top. The other pastry, known as sfinge from Sicily, are also made from a choux pastry of a more rounded shape and filled with a ricotta filling.
This year, I got sfinge, my favorite, from two NYC-area bakeries, La Guli in Astoria, Queens,
and Rose & Joe’s Italian Bakery, also in Astoria, Queens.
The bakeries are around the corner from each other, so you can easily sample both.
Posted in Holiday, Italian, New York
Tagged Astoria, La Guli, March 19, New York, Queens, Rose & Joe's, sfinge, St. Joseph's Day, zeppole
Happy St. Joseph’s Day! I got some sfinge and zeppole to celebrate the day.
To read more about them, check out my other blog posts on St. Joseph’s Day.
Happy St. Joseph’s Day!
I had wanted to attempt homemade St. Joseph’s Day pastries in honor of St. Joseph’s Day, but I’ve been having a crazy week. I halved the pastry recipe from Maria Lo Pinto’s cookbook. They were yummy but not quite the bakery version. I’d like to try them again when I have more time. These are the Sicilian sfinge with ricotta filling. The Neapolitan version is the zeppole with a custard filling.
Also, it is a tradition to make macaroni with sardines today. I’m on a sardines kick, so I may make this too if I am able to.
De Robertis is now closed.
Happy St. Joseph’s Day! Two for Tuesday just happened to fall on St. Joseph’s Day, so the two are the two variations of St. Joseph’s Day treats–zeppole and sfinge. The zeppole are a kind of cream puff filled with custard cream, sometimes topped with a cherry (or not). These are Neapolitan treats (from Naples). Sfinge are also a type of cream puff with a cannoli-cream filling. These are Sicilian. I prefer the sfinge because I prefer the cannoli-cream filling. But both are good. My favorites are from Monteleone’s bakery in Jersey City, New Jersey (a few blocks from Journal Square).
Monteleone’s sfinge (l) and zeppole
This bakery goes way back and was the bakery where my dad’s family got their pastries.
(Little India is in this area in Jersey City, and it used to be largely Italian and Polish.) I also like the ones from Villabate bakery in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.
In Manhattan, since there are fewer Italians living in the borough, the turnover for these is not as large as it is in the outer boroughs where you will wait on a line to get them. You can find them at Rocco on Bleecker Street in the West Village; Ferrara‘s, Caffe Roma (I’m guessing they have them–didn’t actually go), Cafe Palermo (ditto) in Little Italy; Bruno Bakery in Noho and Veniero’s
and De Robertis
in the East Village.
Ferrara zeppole (l) and sfinge
I got some at Ferrara in Little Italy. Another customer asked a waiter and counter staff for “St. Joseph’s Day” pastries, but no one knew what they were even though they were sitting on top of the pastry case. So I told him where they were. The times they are a changin’.
Veniero’s zeppole (l) and sfinge
I also got them at Veniero’s and De Robertis’s. If you are curious and want to try them, I’d say any Italian bakery in Manhattan is a good bet.
De Robertis zeppole (l) and sfinge
Posted in Bakery, Holiday, Italian, Local, New York
Tagged bakery, Brooklyn, Bruno, De Robertis, Ferrara, Italian, Jersey City, Monteleone's, Neapolitan, ricotta, Rocco, sfinge, Sicilian, St. Joseph's Day, Veniero's, Villabate, zeppole