Corn Zeppole

By • August 25, 2010 • 33 Comments

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Food52 Review: These golden nuggets of goodness are Andrew's latest riff on one of Franny's most popular menu items. In the past, he's made zeppole (the base recipe was inspired by a trip to Naples) with spring herbs, artichokes, fennel; with this recipe, he's come up with a quintessential summer combo of corn, chiles and pancetta. Each zeppole -- essentially the Italian version of a doughnut hole -- is impossibly tender within but crunches satisfyingly between your teeth with every bite. The chiles lend just the right amount of heat, and the sweetness of the roasted corn and the saltiness of the pancetta play off of each other perfectly. What's more: you can make these ahead and reheat them -- perfect for cocktail parties! - MThe Editors

Serves a lot of zeppole (feel free to halve the recipe)

  • 34 grams fresh yeast
  • 300 grams all purpose flour
  • 155 grams fine yellow cornmeal
  • 6 grams salt, plus more for the corn
  • 1 cup raw corn kernels (from about 2 large ears of corn)
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup diced pancetta
  • 2/3 cup cup finely diced mixed hot chilies (preferably a mix of wax peppers and jalapenos)
  • 2 liters corn or vegetable oil, for frying
  • lemon wedges
  1. To make the zeppole batter, whisk the yeast with 500 grams lukewarm water in a large bowl. Then whisk in the flour, the cornmeal and 6 grams salt, until the batter is smooth. Cover and keep in a warm place for at least an hour. (You can refrigerate the batter for up to 24 hours, but let it come to room temperature before proceeding.)
  2. While the batter is resting, heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the the corn kernels in a bowl with a generous glug of olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper and spread evenly on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the corn is golden and caramelized. Set aside to cool.
  3. Put the pancetta in a medium skillet over medium-low heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, just until it starts to color (you do not want it too crisp). Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon and discard the fat. Let the pancetta cool.
  4. Put the oil in a large pot with high sides (it should come more than halfway up) and heat to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, stir the cooled corn, pancetta and chopped chilies into the risen batter (it should be quite thick). When the oil is hot, carefully drop the batter in heaping tablespoonfuls into the oil, cooking about 6 at a time (do not crowd them). If you have a splatter screen, use it, and be very careful, as the oil may spit. After about 2 minutes, turn the zeppole so that they brown on both sides. When they are golden brown, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, sprinkling immediately with salt and pepper. Keep the zeppolein a warm place as you cook the remaining batter. Make sure the zeppole have a chance to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving, as the centers need time to dry out. If you need to, you can reheat them in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes before serving, with lots of lemon wedges for squeezing.
Jump to Comments (33)

Tags: corn, Summer, zeppole

Comments (33) Questions (2)

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over 1 year ago EBish

I'm planning to make these for a big party - anyone know the actual yield of this recipe? Thanks!

Stringio

over 1 year ago Lilismom

Is the measurement for fresh yeast the same as for regular store bought yeast?

Stringio

over 1 year ago Maggie Parkinson

What really puzzles me about your recipe is that you have used GRAMS to measure the water in the recipe. Given that you are using metric measurements I'm confused as to why you did't measure the fluid in Milliliters. I don't think I've ever seen a fluid measurement in grams! Is that really what you meant?

Thanks!
MAP

Peggy_trust_officer_harris_bank

over 2 years ago Peggy Griswold

Could you translate the grams into american or more well known to me measurements. Thank you

Merrill

over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Please see the comment thread below for a discussion of why this recipe calls for weight measurements. Thanks!

85348

almost 2 years ago LoveAgent7


Conversion Calculator http://southernfood.about...

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over 2 years ago PistachioDoughnut

I made these today for a family gathering...and these were a hit..everyone enjoyed them .. i had halved the recipe and later on thought I made a mistake by doing so..as they were delish!. thanks for the recipe..corn is a favorite.

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over 2 years ago marcusklein

Has anyone tried to make a vegetarian version of this? i need something to replace the pancetta.

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over 2 years ago PistachioDoughnut

Just avoid the pancetta.. I did the same....They were delicious.

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about 4 years ago gigiaxline

any idea if I can make this ahead of time and reheat? How far ahead? They look absolutely scrumptious!

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about 4 years ago gigiaxline

answered my own question: I made these on the morning of my dinner party and left them out room temp. They re-heated well in 300 degree oven for about 20 min.

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about 4 years ago cedge20

Can you use rapid-rise yeast instead of fresh yeast? I don't normally see the latter....

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about 4 years ago veronique

I used rapid-rise yeast and let the dough sit for an hour. Was perfect.

Jocelyn_2006

about 4 years ago jocelyng

I'm in the middle of prepping these now. I did cut the recipe in half, and the batter has been sitting for several hours now. It's bubbling, but it doesn't seem to be thickening up. It's still very soupy. The only thing I wonder is about the fresh yeast. I just bought it yesterday, but perhaps it had expired? I can't find the wrapper in the trash now. The other thing is that it had been in the refrigerator before I added it to the water. Perhaps that was a problem? I'm puzzled. Should I toss the batter or will it get thicker?

Merrill

about 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

The batter should be a little soupy before you add the rest of the ingredients, but is it really runny? If so, something went awry. Keeping fresh yeast in the fridge is a good thing, so I'm guessing it might have to do with your flour or cornmeal measurement?

Jocelyn_2006

about 4 years ago jocelyng

I used a digital scale, so unless I can't divide by two (jeez), I should be okay there. I would characterize it as a soupy sponge. I was thinking it would be closer to a bread dough after the first rise. Not that thick, but closer to that than what I have. (Belated best wishes, btw.)

Merrill

about 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You should be okay, I think. This muggy weather might be affecting things slightly. If it thickens to a slow, dropping consistency once you've added the pancetta, corn, etc., you should be good to go. Keep me posted!

Merrill

about 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Just saw you're in CA, so forget my muggy weather theory!

Jocelyn_2006

about 4 years ago jocelyng

Heh. It's more a question of how does hot and dry weather affect the batter :-). I'll press on and see what happens.

Jocelyn_2006

about 4 years ago jocelyng

All the worry was for nothing. They were perfect! Absolutely delicious. Thanks for the hand holding.

Merrill

about 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Phew! So glad.

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about 4 years ago veronique

Please convert grams next time!

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about 4 years ago dymnyno

I started to ask the same question and then I realized that grams are weight not volume so for baking it can make a difference...34 grams of yeast is about 2 1/2 tsp, 300 grams of flour is about 1 3/4 cups, 155 grams of cornmeal is about 1 1/2 cups. Using a scale is so much more accurate. It's like a cup of lead weighs a lot more that a cup of flour.

Merrill

about 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

For this recipe, it really is a good idea to weigh your ingredients, and grams are much more exact than ounces. I promise it's worth pulling out your scale!

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about 4 years ago veronique

I will buy a scale. Lesson learned! I did make these, though, and thought they were delicious. I'm having a small drinks party tomorrow night just so that I can make them again and for a larger group. have fennel in my garden now--may combine that with corn?? Suggestions?

Merrill

about 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad they came out well. I'd dice the fennel so it's about the same size as the corn kernels and roast it along with the corn. Great idea, by the way! I'm pretty sure Franny's did a fennel-only version earlier in the summer -- yum.

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about 4 years ago Jesse Irish

Could You Translate Measurements into American Measurments Please

Merrill

about 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Please see my response above!

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about 4 years ago dymnyno

I made these for appetizers last night for a dinner party...my guests ate every one of them...while exclaiming about how delicious they were!

Merrill

about 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Yay!

Me

about 4 years ago Adriana

Oh my god, yes. I will vote for Franny's-inspired *anything* zeppole.

Missginsu_bike

about 4 years ago MissGinsu

What a great idea! I'm so torn between these two corn recipe finalists...

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about 4 years ago Midge

with glass of Prosecco, yum.