Today in Italy is celebrate Saint Joseph (San Giuseppe) and also “Festa del Papà” the italian Father’s day.
March has always been one of my favourite months. Winter is almost over, days are slowly growing longer, and there is no pressure of any kind for presents (be it Christmas or Valentine’s Day, omitting the fact that it was born in March). But there’s also another reason to love March: the zeppole di San Giuseppe. On the 19th of March, the first day of Spring equinox, every family in Italy celebrates catholic the day of Saint Joseph or Father’s Day, la Festa del Papà.
This potato version is typical of Campania region, but of course, there are many other variations. In Florence for example they fill them with custard or Siena with rice. But in Naples there are which calls them zeppole, they are made of a special soft dough rather than rice and filled with custard or a butter-and-honey mixture.
My mother has never missed a single year making ‘zeppole’. And as you need to make the potato mixture the night before, when I was a little girl I loved sneaking into the kitchen after dinner and peek her.
They are really easy to make so start getting the ingredients ready – I think you’ll find the effort well worth it and make your Dad, whatever age, really happy!
- 460 gr of manitoba flour
- 250 gr boiled potatoes puree (about 300 grams of raw potatoes to boil
- 2 whole eggs
- 50 grams of soft butter
- 50 gr of sugar
- 8 gr of dry beer yeast or 10 gr of fresh beer yeast
- 100 gr of water
- 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla essence or the seeds of a vanilla bean (alternatively 1 tablespoon of dark aged rum)
- grated peel of 1 orange
- grated peel of 1 lemon
- 8 grams of salt
- fry oil
250 grams of caster sugar