Struffoli is a Neapolitan dish made of deep fried balls of dough about the size of marbles. Crunchy on the outside and light inside, struffoli are mixed with honey and other sweet ingredients. There are many different ways to dress them, but the traditional way is to mix them in honey with hundreds & thousands and bits of orange peel.
The struffoli is a symbolic Christmas message signifying abundance. In a region where food was scarce, struffoli were considered good luck. If you ate struffoli, you were guaranteed a prosperous and plentiful year ahead!
Struffoli-Christmas Dough Balls With Honey And Candied Peel
14oz/395g Caputo 00 Flour
1oz/28g unsalted butter, cubed
3 large eggs plus 3 yolks
1 Tablespoon of D’Antiche Terre Grappa
9oz/255g White sugar
Pinch of Salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
5oz/140g Orange peel, finely chopped, plus more to decorate
Hundreds & Thousands (Sugar Strands)
Glacè cherries, halved to decorate
Vegetable oil for frying
In a large bowl, combine the flour with the butter, eggs, Grappa, 1 Tablespoon of sugar, a pinch of salt, and the grated lemon and orange zest with a spatula.
Mix well & let it rest in a fridge for 60 minutes.
Roll out the pastry into very thin strips, and cut into small pieces.
Heat the oil in a deep saucepan, over medium heat. Test that the oil is hot enough by putting a small piece of struffoli in the pan, if it sizzles it’s hot enough to cook with. Deep fry the struffoli for 5 minutes a few at a time, or golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels.
Put the honey and the remaining sugar in a very large saucepan with a ¼ cup of water. Bring it to the boil, and continue to boil until the foam which forms on the top has disappeared completely and the honey has turned slightly dark.
Add the struffoli and finely chopped peel, Stir over a gentle heat, until they are all coated with the honey glaze.
Use a wooden spoon to remove the struffoli onto a serving plate, and arrange them into any shape you like. The traditional arrangement is a pyramid shape.
Decorate with the hundred and thousands, extra peel and glacè cherries.
To enjoy, simply break off a single struffoli with your fingers and enjoy with a cup of fine Kimbo espresso coffee!