Struffoli recipe: from Naples to the world

Struffoli napoletani

If you’re truly Italian you need to know the basic recipes of the Italian cuisine and the struffoli are one of this. Even if they’re originally from Naples and the Campania region, the struffoli are something everyone knows as this is one of the most eaten sweet things for Christmas. The recipe is really easy because the struffoli are fried doughs with honey and funfetti on top.

Even if it’s a simple recipe, it requires a little bit of time and organization: be also ready to see your kitchen really dirty and clean the mess. But that’s the beauty of this recipe: make it and make a mess!

Ingredients for a platter

  • 600 grams of flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 50 grams of lard (replaceable with butter)
  • Grated rind of half a lemon
  • A pinch of salt
  • Seed oil for frying

For the decoration

  • 500 grams of honey
  • 1 glass of limoncello
  • Funfetti
  • Candied citron and orange peel

Method

Pour the flour on a surface (or in a very large bowl) and mix it with sugar, salt, lemon rind, eggs and the softened lard/butter. Form a ball of dough and leave to rest for at least 1 hour.
Take the dough and quickly knead it on a lightly floured surface then this into small pieces and roll each piece between your hands flouring them again if this helps) to make marble-sized balls.
3. Heat the oil and, once the oil is ready (warm but not hot!), fry your balls a batch at a time (15 per batch should be a good amount) and drain them when they are golden but still quite swollen. Let them dry on paper towel.
Pour the honey into a roasting pan with a glass of limoncello and heat very gently stirring constantly until it becomes runny then take it off the heat.
Dip the struffoli in the honey and arrange them on a serving plate in the shape of a cone with the help of your hands (slightly wet to prevent the honey from sticking and struffoli broken). Once the cone is formed add more hot honey to cover your struffoli and add the funfetti, the candied citron, and the orange peel.

Preparation time: 2 hours

Struffoli: video recipe (click to subscribe to my channel):

General advices to make perfect struffoli

1. The struffoli are best eaten on the day they’re made;
2. Do not overheat the oil otherwise in contact with the heat the struffoli will cook too fast and they will soon become dark outside and still raw inside;
3. The struffoli can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days.

[Pic by Giuseppe]