Struffoli, is is one of the most popular Italian sweets found on dessert tables for Christmas Eve or St Joesph's Day!
I remember well the towers of Struffoli at my Grandpa Salara's home! I am so grateful I found this recipe here! I loved the fried flavor reminiscent of mini eclair puffs drenched in honey syrup! I will pass this down to my children as well!
The preparation is not fast but relatively simple (provided you have a bit of familiarity with deep frying).
The following traditional recipe from my family has no leavening but the struffoli still comes out crisp. If you prefer them more full in size, you may add a pinch of baking soda.
With this recipe be sure to let the dough rest a few hours before making the struffoli.
Struffoli (print recipe)
400 grams flour
2 tablespoons sugar
25 gr, butter or, preferably, lard 25 degrees,
1 shot glass of anise,
Rind of half a lemon grated
Rind of half a grated orange
A pinch of salt
lard or oil for frying
To dress and decorate:
400 gr honey
Confetti colored (Naples are called diavulilli ")
Cinnamon flavored confettini
100g candied orange
100g of candied citron
50 g of candied pumpkin (in Naples is called "Cocozza") (my grandfather made his own!).
Mix all ingredients well and let the dough rest a few hours in a bowl covered with a cloth.
Roll quickly and stretch the dough as if you were making gnocchi, basically forming like bread sticks and cut them into large pieces more or less the size of a hazelnut and place on well-floured cutting board dusted with flour so they do not stick each other.
When frying (preferably in lard), place them in a sieve and shake to remove excess flour.
When frying the struffoli being sure the oil is not too hot of the over fried dark struffoli become bitter.
While frying watch out for foaming due to the excess flour on the struffoli.
To prevent the oil from foaming is wise to "fan" the frying pan: This helps prevents too big of bubbles forming and avoids oil dropping onto the flame.
Once cooked - the struffoli should look golden but not over-brown- remove from the oil with a skimmer and place them onto a plate covered with absorbent paper.
Prepare the honey in a large enough pot with low temperature until it is liquefied (pay attention not to burn).
Then pour the honey mix over the struffoli and mix until they are completely coated with honey.
Then add about one third of the confetti and candied fruit which are cut into small pieces and mix gently.
Then take a serving platter, put a jar in the middle or empty glass (used to help form the center) arrange the struffoli around the jar or glass (you may use your hands, if necessary slightly wet them) to form in the shape of a donut piling them up.
Then, with still warm honey, take the confettini and the remaining candied fruit and spread them on struffoli to create an aesthetically pleasing effect.
When the honey has been solidified, gently remove the jar from the center of the plate and serve the struffoli.