Christmas Italian Recipe Italian Pastries


Sfingi are deep-fried doughnut like puffs that are made throughout Italy—especially in Sicily. 

They are made for as a devotion to Saint Joseph.

Sfingi di Ricotta

Adapted from Grace Pilato’s “Cooking with Grace” recipe.

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

4 lare eggs

1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 pound fresh homemade ricotta

1 qt oil for frying- I use canola (may need more depending on size of your pan or deep fryer)


1 cup honey

2 Tbsp water

Powdered sugar for sprinkling


Sift flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon into a medium bowl. 

In another bowl, beat eggs and vanilla with a fork or electric mixer for 30 seconds. 

Add ricotta and continue to beat on medium till well blended–about 2 minutes.

Add flour mixture to ricotta 1/4 cup at a time and continue to beat until all flour is incorporated into batter, being careful not to overbeat. 

Batter should be thick.

Heat oil to 375 degrees. 

Drop batter by rounded  teaspoonfuls into oil–about 4  at a time. 

Fry until puffed to a golden brown. 

They will double in size. 

Remove when finished with a slotted spoon–you may have to check them–about 3-4 minutes each. 

They will usually flip over on their own.

Heat honey with the water in the microwave for about 1 minute. 

Stir and heat again for 30 seconds.

Pour into a shallow bowl and roll each  puff to coat. 

Place on platter for serving and drizzle more honey over top and powdered sugar if you like. 

Approx. 2 1/2 dozen

Taste best eaten right after frying.  Store letovers in the fridge and reheat in 350 oven to revive.


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