Saint Joseph’s Fritters

Neapolitan pastry includes a wide variety of amazing desserts like this one, created to celebrate Saint Joseph’s day on March 19, which is also Fathers’ day and often Carnival in Italy.

Ippolito Cavalcanti, in his 1837 essay on Neapolitan cuisine, provides the first account of the recipe for this pastry, now found across Italian regions spanning from Sicily to Molise, Marche, Puglia, Abruzzo and even Sardinia, in a myriad of different versions.

How are St. Joseph’s fritters made?
Here are the ingredients you should have on hand for the “Limmi version”.


Pastry dough

  • 250 gr flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 90 g butter
  • 1 packet vanillin
  • 6 tablespoons LIMMI lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 330 ml water

For frying

  • 1 litre seed oil

To garnish

  • 50 g cherries in syrup
  • 50 g candied fruit
  • 60 g confectioners’ sugar

For the pastry cream

Try our delicious lemon cream


In a saucepan, bring 330 ml of water to a boil and then add the butter, cut into small pieces, the sugar, sifted flour, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.  Stir the dough very quickly over high heat (it’s important for the dough to dry out so that it can absorb the eggs without becoming too soft).

Let the dough cool, transfer it to a bowl, and then whisk in one egg yolk at a time. When done, the dough should feel firm and compact, much like stiff pastry cream.  With the help of a spoon, cut the dough ball into small pieces and transfer them to a frying pan generously filled with hot oil. As soon as the fritters turn golden, turn them, wait until they puff up, take them out with a skimmer and place them on kitchen paper.  According to tradition, they should be fried twice, in 2 different pans: the first time in warm oil – to cook the middle and make them puff up – and the second time in very hot oil.

Top them with scrumptious lemon cream, garnish them with cherries or candied fruit, and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.Try our delicious lemon cream