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Lemon and Fig Zeppoli

For the Catholic feast of St. Joseph’s Day on March 19, items like lemons, figs and breads make up offerings used to decorate a food-focused altar. This year, Chef Carl Schaubhut at Cafe Adelaide in New Orleans is serving a four-course St. Joseph’s Tasting Menu in honor of the holiday. His meal ends with this zeppoli, which he describes as an Italian beignet.

Zeppoli (beignet) Batter:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1⁄2 cup fig jam
1 tsp. orange zest

Combine and sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Combine water, milk, egg, zest and jam in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry. Set aside. Let rest at least 30 minutes.

Limoncello Curd:

1/2 cup lemon juice
1⁄2 cup limoncello
6 whole eggs
6 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 lb. unsalted butter, chopped

Mix together lemon juice, limoncello, egg yolks, whole eggs and sugar with a whisk. Strain through chinois, and place in a bowl over a double boiler. Add lemon zest and whisk 8-10 minutes, until pale and thick. Whisk in the butter, then pour into a clean bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a cooler until cool. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.


Fry beignets in 350-degree canola oil in 1 oz. portions until golden brown and delicious. Remove onto a paper towel and dust vigorously with powdered sugar. Serve alongside the lemon curd for dipping and sprinkle with crushed pistachios and shaved white chocolate.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Chef Carl Schaubhut at Cafe Adelaide in New Orleans. 

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