Sfingi Cream Puff Pastry Fritters
These are the easiest and most impressive of all fried specialties. They are as sweet and creamy as a small cream puff filled with sweetened pastry cream, even though they are made from a completely unsweetened dough and just rolled in cinnamon sugar. Sfingi were one of the pastries my maternal grandmother, Clotilda Lo Conte, was famous for. She never gave out recipes, so everyone thought these were so much harder to make than they are. You’ll see what I mean when you try them.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturecreamy, crisp, spiced, sweet
Type of Dishdessert
- 1 cup water
- Pinch salt
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 4 cups vegetable oil for frying
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans covered with paper towels or brown paper for draining the sfingi.
In a medium saucepan, bring the water, salt, and butter to a boil over low heat. Remove from the heat and sift in the flour all at once. Use a wooden spoon to stir the flour in smoothly.
Return the pan to low heat and stir the paste vigorously until it holds together in one piece and the bottom of the pan is lightly filmed. Scrape the paste into a bowl and let it cool for 5 minutes.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating smooth after each addition.
To fry the sfingi, in a 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil to 350 degrees. To form the sfingi, use two teaspoons. Dip one teaspoon into the oil, then spoon up some of the dough with it. Use the other spoon to scrape the dough off the first one into the oil. Work quickly and fry six or eight sfingi at a time. Fry until the sfingi crack open and are a deep golden color. Drain on the prepared pans. Just before serving, mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a shallow bowl and roll each of the sfingi in it. Arrange the sfingi on a platter.
As with all fried pastries, these are best the day they are made, but leftovers maybe kept for a while at room temperature, loosely covered with plastic wrap.
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2000 Nick Malgieri