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Zeppole di San Giuseppe (St Joseph's doughnuts)

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Zeppole di San Giuseppe (St Joseph's doughnuts)

By Lisa Featherby
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus cooling, standing
  • Serves 6
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Zeppole di San Giuseppe (St Joseph's doughnuts)
Every region in Italy has its own version of zeppole, and this particular recipe is from Sicily's Caffè Calì, which was established by Antonino CalÏ more than 60 years ago in the town of Piedimonte Etneo. Zeppole are traditionally eaten in celebration of the feast of St Joseph on 19 March, but Caffè Calì sells them on weekends throughout the colder months.


  • 250 gm arborio rice
  • 250 ml milk (1 cup)
  • 125 gm plain flour
  • 7 gm dried yeast (1 sachet)
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 200 gm orange-blossom honey
  • Juice and finely grated rind of 1 orange
  • 40 gm caster sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Candied orange peel
  • Thinly peeled rind of 1 orange
  • 220 gm caster sugar


  • 1
    For candied orange peel, blanch rind, drain, repeat twice and set aside. Stir caster sugar and 250ml water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil, add rind, cook until translucent (10-15 minutes) and set aside.
  • 2
    Bring 1 litre water and a pinch of salt to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rice, stir occasionally until water is absorbed (10-15 minutes) and set aside to cool.
  • 3
    Combine rice, milk, flour and yeast in a large bowl and set aside to rest (1 hour).
  • 4
    Preheat oil in a deep-sided saucepan to 180C. Shape rice mixture into quenelles with two spoons and deep-fry in batches until golden (5-10 minutes; be careful as hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper and
    keep warm.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, combine honey, orange juice and orange rind in a bowl. Add zeppole in batches and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, scatter with candied orange peel and serve warm.


This recipe is from the April 2012 issue of .