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Catholic Recipe: St. Joseph's Sfinge I


  • 1 cup pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • grated orange peel
  • grated lemon peel Filling
  • 1 pound ricotta (Italian pot cheese)
  • 2 Tablespoons chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • orange peel
  • crème de cacao


Prep Time: 2 hours

Difficulty: • • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:15+

Origin: Italy


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Also Called: Sphinx Puffs, St. Joseph's Cream Puffs

The traditional dessert for St. Joseph's Day is a cream puff known as Sfinge di San Giuseppe. In some areas it is fried, but this recipe is a puff pastry. This recipe is a must for the tradition of St. Joseph's Table or Altar.


To make your puffs, combine flour, butter, water, salt, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until the mass leaves the side of the pan. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add a little grated orange and lemon peel. Drop by tablespoon on a baking sheet; bake at 400° F. for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 350° F. for another 25 minutes.

Stir until smooth the ricotta, chocolate, sugar, a little grated orange peel, and a generous dash of crème de cacao and use this to fill your puffs when they have cooled.

Recipe Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951