For the orange pastry cream, bring the milk, orange zest, and half the sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, then whisk in the remaining sugar. Sift the flour over the yolk mixture and whisk it in. When the milk mixture boils, whisk one-third of it into the yolk mixture. Return the remaining milk to a boil and whisk the yolk mixture into it. Continue whisking until the cream thickens and returns to a boil. Remove from the heat and beat in the vanilla. Pour the cream into a bowl, cover the surface directly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold.
For the cream puff paste, bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour all at once. Return to the heat and cook the mixture until it leaves the sides of the pan. Pour the paste into a mixing bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the sugar and orange zest.
With a pastry bag and a
To assemble the fritters, place a spoonful of orange pastry cream in the center of each zeppola and top with some of the cherries, drained from the conserva. Dust the fritters with the confectioners’ sugar.
Confectioners’ sugar for finishing
For advance preparation, make the orange pastry cream and the cream puff paste up to 1 day in advance and refrigerate. Fry the fritters up to 4 hours before serving, but only fill them about 1 hour before serving.
© 1990 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.