The sfince – or sfinci or sphinx – of San Giuseppe are typical Sicilian sweets (from Palermo , in particular) that are enjoyed on Father's Day but are available all year round. The original recipe gives us a sort of big fried cream puff filled with ricotta cream studded with chocolate chips and decorated with colored pieces of candied fruit (usually an orange peel and a cherry). They are a pleasure for the eye even before the palate, but let's find out more.
The story of the sphinxes of St. Joseph
The history of the sfince is very ancient, it dates back to Roman times and would be linked to Saint Joseph who, having fled to Egypt with Mary and Jesus, became a seller of pancakes to support his family. This explains the fact that they especially prepare on March 19 .
Sfince di san Giuseppe, the original recipe to make them at home
Nothing could be simpler: just a few ingredients and even less work to bring these Sicilian delights to the table. Why not make them for Father's Day 2021 ?Ingredients for the cream puffs
- 250ml of water
- 200 g of 00 flour
- 50 g of butter
- 6 medium eggs
- 1 pinch of salt
- peanut oil
Ingredients for the ricotta cream
- 500 g of sheep ricotta
- 160 g of granulated sugar
- chocolate chips
- candied orange peel
- candied cherries
- pistachio grain
- powdered sugar
Preparation of the puffs
- Pour water, salt and butter into a saucepan and, once this has melted and the water has heated up well, turn off the heat and add the flour all at once, mixing immediately with a wooden spoon to obtain a thick mixture.
- Put back on the heat and cook for a few minutes until a thick and smooth mass is obtained.
- Let it cool down, then add the eggs, one at a time and only after the previous one has been completely absorbed.
- Transfer the compound obtained into a pastry bag and, on 8×8 cm squares of baking paper, squeeze a ball of dough.
- Then dip it - delicately - into boiling oil and fry until golden brown.
- Drain the very soft sfinci obtained on absorbent kitchen paper.
Preparation of Sicilian ricotta cream
- To prepare the ricotta cream , mix the dry ricotta with the sugar and blend for a long time, then sift the mixture and add the chocolate drops.
- Transfer to a piping bag and fill the half-opened cream puffs abundantly.
- Decorate the surface with orange peel and candied cherries and chopped pistachios .
Sphince of St. Joseph with Thermomix
To make the sfince di san Giuseppe with the Thermomix , just pour water, butter and salt into the jug and bring to the boil for 5 mins. 100° Vel. 1, then add the flour and blend for 30 Sec. 100° Speed. 3. Let the dough cool for 10 minutes, then add the eggs and mix 1 Min. Speed. 3. Mix 2 mins. speed. Spiga and proceed as above.
Baked Sphince of St. Joseph
For a lighter version of the typical Father's Day dessert, you can cook the cream puffs in the oven . Arrange the balls of dough, well spaced, directly on a baking tray covered with parchment paper, then cook them in a preheated oven at 225°C for at least 25/30 minutes.Photo | GiulioLombardo92 , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons