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Sfinci di San Giuseppe

St. Joseph is an important figure to Sicilians.In  the middle ages the farmers, suffering with a drought, appealed for help to St. Joseph, promising to honor him with a large feast if he would send rain.  The rains came and this day has been marked as a celebration ever since. St. Joseph;'s day is March 19th.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lard
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
  • 5 eggs
  • Vegetable oil (to fry)
  • 1 pound ricotta
  • 1/ 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate, in pieces
  • 1/2 cup candied fruit
  • 1 tablespoons candied orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons pistachios, chopped


Put water, lard and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Slowly add the flour with heat still on.Stir as you sift.  Blend well, and take away from heat so dough may cool.

When cool, add eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.  Beat until dough is smooth and creamy.

Cook in very hot oil (375°F or to the boiling point) a few at a time so oil does not cool down.  Cook until sfinci puff and turn golden brown.  Set on paper towels to drain and to cool.  When cooled, slit open with a knife.

Ricotta filling:

Work ricotta and sugar together. Since ricotta may vary in liquidity, you may add a few drops of milk if the mixture is stiff.

When creamy, add chocolate and candied feel.  Stuff the cooled sfinci with this mixture.  Garnish with candied peel and chopped pistachios.

(Sfinci are also delicious unstuffed.  If you want to try them without a filling, heat a little honey and pour on top when serving.)

Contributor: Connie La Marca

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