Aunt Roma's struffoli recipe from Zeppoli - 6at4

March 29, 2012 9:30:57 AM PDT
There's a South Jersey chef who makes a nostalgic Italian treat and serves it every day!

From Naples down through the south of Italy they have struffoli. In Naples they call it struffoli. In Sicily they call it Pignolotti.

Deep fried dough balls drenched in dollops of sticky honey; The Italian sweet treat is an Easter favorite.

"My grandmother used to make them. My aunt Roma, it's actually her recipe," told us. "When I first open(ed) she came here to oversee and make sure that the struffoli were being rolled properly!"

Joey Baldino opened Zeppoli in Collingswood 7 months ago. He serves authentic Sicilian specialties. He shared Aunt Roma's recipe, and some advice: "Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty!"

You can put together the recipe with a mixer, but it is always better to do it with your hands, Baldino told us.

(Honey Balls)

Makes 10 servings

3 cups all-purpose flour (or as needed)
1 tablespoon sugar
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Grated zest of 1/2 orange
Pinch salt
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon grappa, rum, or vanilla
3 cups vegetable oil (for frying)

Honey Syrup:
2 cups honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

Colored candy sprinkles

Stir flour, salt, lemon and orange zest in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the eggs, butter and grappa. Blend together with your hands, mixing in all the dry ingredients until smooth.

Remove the dough from the bowl and on a clean surface, lightly knead it for 4 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Pull off quarter-size pieces of dough and roll into balls. Drop them into your oil (heated to 350° F). When golden brown (about 3 minutes in the oil) remove with a wire skimmer and let drain on a paper towel.

In a frying pan, blend together honey, sugar and water to make your Honey Syrup. Once blended, add your fried dough to the honey until all evenly coated. Remove from heat onto a platter or small plates and finish with sprinkles.

Joey serves complimentary struffoli with your check every day at Zeppoli.

(856) 854-2670
618 Collings Ave.
Collingswood, NJ 08107