Recipe adapted from Zeppole all’arancia
- 150 ml water
- 100 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- the zest of 1 orange
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 160 g flour 00, sifted
- 4 eggs, organic free range
Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
- 500 ml whole milk (3.25%)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 egg yolks, organic free range
- 140 g granulated sugar
- 45 g corn starch
- sour cherries
- Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- In a saucepan over low/medium heat add the water, orange juice, and butter.
- When the butter has completely melted, add the orange zest and the sifted flour.
- With the help of a wooden spoon, stir well until the dough gets dense and it is ready when it begins to break away from the walls.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool. Once lukewarm, add eggs, one at a time, adding the following only when the previous one has been completely absorbed (you can use a wooden spoon, a handheld mixer, or better yet, a stand mixer). You want to obtain a smooth and homogeneous batter.
- Transfer the mixture thus obtained inside a pastry bag with a star tip.
- On the prepared baking sheets, pipe a circle of medium size (4-6 cm) and continue piping overlapping the first one, until you have two circles not closed at the top (possibly).
- Place the zeppole in the preheated oven at 400° F (200° C) for the first 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350° F (180° C) and bake for 20 more minutes. After that, open the oven a little and cook for additional 5 minutes.
- Transfer onto a rack to cool.
- Meanwhile prepare the vanilla bean pastry cream.
Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream:
- Heat the milk in a saucepan with the scored vanilla bean but do not let it boil.
- In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until nice and frothy, then add the corn starch and mix.
- Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and scrape the seeds in the egg mixture.
- Pour the heated milk slowly in the egg mixture, mixing with a whisk. Put back the mixture on the stove and whisk constantly until the custard has thickened. Remove from heat and place in a big bowl filled with ice water. Keep whisking until temperature has reduced.
- Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and let it cool with a plastic wrap on top to keep it from drying out.
- Put the cream in a piping bag with a star tip.
- Cut the zeppole in half carefully. Fill the bottom with the cream but stay inside the borders.
- Cover with the top, sprinkle with icing sugar, pipe some cream on top and finish with the sour cherry.
Cook the trays separately unless you have a convection oven. As one tray is in the oven you can prepare the pastry cream, this will lessen the time factor. Once filled, refrigerate uncovered. The zeppole lasts for a couple days.