Saint Joseph’s cream puffs

As with most festival days, even one dedicated to our father, it deserves to be celebrated with the appropriate dish. So, why not prepare for Father’s Day one of the most famous pastries in Italy? ‘St. Joseph puffs’ are a typical dessert of the Lazio region, and more specifically the city of Rome. These little pastries are distinguished by being fried, stuffed with a delicious custard and finally dusted by a cloud of powdered sugar. Your Dad will have the best possible treat on his special day! Now, there is nothing to stop you from getting going in the kitchen: following our guidelines your ‘puffs’ will be ready to be enjoyed in no time! Alternatively, we recommend preparing a different cake for Father's Day, the doughnuts of St. Joseph.

Ingredients

  • Italian 00 flour 150 grams
  • eggs 3 units
  • butter 60 grams
  • sugar 40 grams
  • lemon Grated zest of half a lemon
  • salt A pinch of salt
  • oil Oil for frying, as much as required
  • water 250 millilitres

Stuffing

  • crema pasticcera

Decoration

  • icing sugar Icing sugar to decorate
Information
60 minutes Total time
20 minutes Active time
Serves 4 persons
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Preparation

Put a little cold water, butter and salt in a pan, bring to the boil, remove from heat, and pour in the flour previously combined with baking powder, and blend it in well with a wooden spoon. Return the pan to the heat, and work the mixture until you have a ball that easily comes off the wooden spoon and from the sides of the pan. Stop working it when this mixture makes a slight frying noise. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then incorporate one by one the eggs and egg yolk. The dough must be worked very well; each additional egg must be worked in well before adding to another. As soon as you see bubbles scattered in the dough, add half a teaspoon of sugar and the grated lemon zest. Continue to work the dough well to incorporate these last two ingredients then remove from pan, wrap it in a cloth and keep it in a cool place for a good half hour. When the puffs are ready to be made, warm some oil in a frying pan, then shape the dough into hazelnut sized pieces. Let them fry over a moderate heat without touching them, but simply shake the frying pan (the cream puffs will turn on their own). As the puffs swell, increase the heat; as soon they take on a lovely blond colour, drain them, let the fat cool a little and repeat the operation until the dough is all used up (for the process to work well, only fry a few at a time). Then, prepare a thick custard; using a pastry bag, fill the puffs with custard one by one. Arrange the puffs in a pyramid on a serving plate covered with a paper lace and spray them with vanilla sugar. Serve immediately.

Tips
If you want to prepare a lighter version of the St. Joseph puffs, you can cook them in the oven.
Trivia
In Rome, it is customary to celebrate the festival of St. Joseph on March 19th with these pastries, which is also Father's Day.

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