Vermont Concert & Zeppole

March 31st, 2011 / Comments 7

We had plans with our Vermont friend, Jim, when we returned to Ortigia on Friday. Jim leaves Thetford every January to spend four months in Ortigia. He had guests visiting from Norwich, Vermont and they arrived at our apartment at six for music, conversation, wine and tasty bits from the market. Marcia Cassidy and her son David Horak brought their violins and treated us to a concert of Vivaldi, Bartok and other classical violin duets. The music was divine.

I suggested that they play for the vendors at Cappuccio’s fish stall on Saturday. Angelo Cappuccio, a Sicilian with a warm smile, a cigarette in his mouth and a huge cleaver in his hand, loves music. I promised David a bowl of Italian donuts if he played at the market. He said, “Sure. Why not?” We agreed to meet in the market at noon for a Vermont Violin Concert.

Vermont concert1 Vermont Concert & Zeppole

Angelo Cappuccio in yellow apron enjoys Violin Duets

David and Marcia were splendid, Angelo beamed, the crowd applauded and cheered. It was a perfect time at the market and there were zeppole to follow.

zepole ingredients Vermont Concert & Zeppole

Ricotta, egg and orange rind ready to mixed together to make zeppole.

Here’s how I made sweet, puffy, ricotta based, deep-fried Italian donuts for the after the concert treat:


I used a fork to combine one cup of fresh ricotta with one egg and a teaspoon of orange zest. When the mixture was smooth, I added one cup of all-purpose flour, one teaspoon of baking powder, one teaspoon of granulated sugar and a quarter of a teaspoon of salt and stirred until it formed a sticky batter.

I heated three inches of vegetable oil in a saucepan. I didn’t have a thermometer so I tested the temperature of the oil by dropping a small blob of dough into the hot oil. I pushed it with a fork and when it began to float and small bubbles formed on the dough, I knew that the oil was hot enough.

I used one teaspoon to scoop out a ball of dough and a second teaspoon to push the dough into the hot oil. Zeppole automatically turn over when the bottom is cooked. I cooked them in batches of five and when they were golden, I drained them on brown paper, rolled them in cinnamon sugar.

I delivered the first batch to David with a tiny curtsey. He graciously shared them with his mother, father, brother Peter and Jim. Depending on appetites, this recipe will satisfy four or five hungry musicians.

On Sunday morning, long before sunrise, our new friends headed back to Vermont. We look forward to more music, more conversations and more zeppole when the warm weather arrives and we are back in Vermont.

Download and print cookie recipe with an ingredients list here.

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• 7 Responses to “Vermont Concert & Zeppole”

  • Danielle says:

    We had our first-ever ricotta donuts at Caffe’ Apollo while visiting Jim (my husband’s grandfather) in Ortigia a few weeks ago. Paolo (the proprietor) selected them for us – they were still warm and absolutely magical! The thought of having them again (albeit *only* for a special occasion) makes my taste buds tingle – thanks for sharing your recipe!

  • Drick says:

    I can say, this just don’t happen at my butcher shop…. nice treat, perfect for anytime of day

  • Annie Houston says:

    Ah Carol…you are weaving all your worlds together…it sounds delicious…all ofnit…from Bach to Zeppole!

  • Caroline says:

    Beautiful all around , friends and food! And I especially enjoyed the picture of the doorway in Erice ? My husband and I are stonecutters here in Maine and it is good for the soul to see others creations.

    • Carol says:

      The streets in Erice are awe inspiring. We were told that rain water flows over the streets and then into a cistern. It is one of the most extraordinary villages I have ever seen. As a stone cutter I think it would fill your heart with joy.

  • Kathy says:

    What a wonderful picture of you all in the warmth, especially since we’re expecting 10″ of snow tomorrow back here in Vermont. And so fun to see that your donuts have become Italian and migrated across the Atlantic to Sicily!

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