1 hour and 15 minutes

For the dough of zeppole:
water, 1 cup
butter, 8 tbsp
a pinch of salt
pastry flour, 2 + 1/2 cups
eggs, 8/9

For the custard:
milk, 2 cups
vanilla pod, 1
egg yolks, 6
flour, 1/2 cup
sugar, 3/4 cup

For the decoration:
Black Cherries in liqueur (or in Syrup)
Icing sugar


Keep half a glass of milk aside and put the rest in a large pan together with an opened vanilla pod, bring to boil. Remove from the heat, leaving the vanilla pod in for ten minutes.
In a bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture is foamy, then add one third of the milk (while still lukewarm). Remove the vanilla pod from milk and sift in the flour, followed by the egg yolk, sugar and the milk mixture. Bring to boil again and stir as the mixture simmers for a few minutes, to let it thicken. Pour in the remaining glass of cold milk, stir and let to cool.
Put water in a pan with butter and salt. Bring to boil and add flour all at once. Stir vigorously using a wooden spoon until the mixture starts to detach from the sides of the pan. Turn off the heat and add the eggs, one at a time, whilst stirring.
Make zeppole using a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle, squeeze out little spirals onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
For Fried zeppole: Fill a tall-sided pan with plenty of oil, warm it on a medium heat. Slide one zeppola at a time into hot oil. When puffy and golden, put zeppole onto kitchen paper to absorb the exceeeding oil, and let cool.
For Baked zeppole: Bake zeppole in a pre-heated oven at 350-390°F for 20-25 minutes. When puffy and golden, remove them from the oven and let cool.

Decorate them with custard, using a piping bag and top with a black cherry in liqueur and a bit of its syrup, followed by a dusting of icing sugar.

Thanks to: Amarene Fabbri