Struffoli Prep:20, Cook:30 - hours to cool.
Preparation - Medium
This is a traditional and delicious Neapolitan Christmas sweet.
4 cups all-purpose (plain) or pastry flour
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons softened butter
grated rind of 1/2 lemon
grated rind of 1/2 orange
oil for frying (canola - remember the pastry takes the flavor of the oil)
2/3 cup honey
4 TBSP sugar
3/4 cup diced candied orange peel
3/4 cup diced candied citron
6 pieces candied pumpkin, diced - optional
Mixing bowl, pot for deep frying, saucepan to boil honey, wax paper.
Sift the flour into a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the whole eggs and yolks, salt, butter and the grated rinds. Mix to a smooth dough, knead thoroughly and leave to rest for 1 hour, covered with a damp cloth.
Heat plenty of oil in a deep pan. Break off pieces of the dough, roll into "sausages" roughly 1/2 inch thick and break off pieces 1/4 inch long - in other words make small pieces of dough 1/2 inch thick by 1/4 inch long. When the oil is very hot, add the pieces of dough a few at a time and fry them until golden. Drain on paper towels.
Put the honey, sugar and a few tablespoons of water into a pan, bring to the boil and simmer until the foam disappears and the mixture is yellow and clear. Lower the heat and immerse the struffoli and approximately half the diced fruit. Stir quickly and pour on to a round plate. Wet your hands with cold water and quickly shape the struffoli into a ring or, if easier, a round dome.
Sprinkle evenly with sprikles and the rest of the candied fruit. Serve after several hours or, better still, the next day.
Struffoli will keep for a week or more if carefully wrapped in wax paper or foil.