Friday, March 13, 2009

St. Joseph Sfinge (Cream Puffs)

There is a traditional Italian dessert for the Feast of St. Joseph, celebrated on March 19, called St. Joseph's Sfinge. It is a large cream puff, filled with a delicious cheese filling and topped with a cherry.

There are many recipes that can be found for St. Joseph's Sfinge, but I have decided to try the one suggested in my most treasured liturgical year cookbook, Cooking for Christ: The liturgical year in the kitchen, by Florence Berger.

She suggests for mothers to: "Let the children help with the cream puffs. Nothing is quite so dramatic in the oven. I was always timid about trying anything so fancy, but they are really not difficult."

It sounds like fun! I am looking forward to making these with my children in honor of this great saint.

St. Joseph Sfinge (Cream Puffs)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 pound butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel Filling
Boil water and butter. Add flour and salt. Keep stirring until mixture leaves side of pan or forms a ball in the center. Cool. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add sugar and grated peel. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough every three inches on a greased cookie sheet, or fill muffin tins half full. Bake in a hot oven (400°) for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°, and continue baking until light brown. Remove from oven. Open puff in the center of top to let steam escape. Cool and fill with:
  • 1 pound cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • Sugar to taste
  • 18 maraschino cherries
  • 1/2 cup glazed orange peel
Mix cottage cheese with chocolate and orange rind. Add flavoring, milk and sugar to taste. Beat until smooth and custard-like. Fill puffs. Chill until ready to use. Before serving, top with cherry and orange peel.

This recipe makes about 18 cream puffs. Pin It


  1. Sounds easy to make! I will substitute ricotta cheese for the cottage cheese though.

  2. That sounds like a good idea... I've noticed that many of the recipes that I have seen for cream puffs (including the one in A Continual Feast) all call for ricotta cheese.

    I think I will try it out with the cottage cheese, since I already have it, though I am thinking of substituting vanilla for the almond extract.

  3. Contrary to popular belief, cream puffs are very easy to make. You can fill them with just about anything that suits your fancy! They are great filled with tuna salad, egg name it!

  4. OOOhhh!!! A cream puff filled with anything, Mimi?! What a delightful idea! I'm going to mull that over for potential!

    I'm making these for the first time this year, Jessica. The children and I are so excited! I have "Cooking with Christ" and "Continual Feast"...and maybe a few others ;)...and I noticed they call for different cheeses...good to see it discussed here!

    These will be pretty on our St. Joseph's altar! I can't wait to see how yours turn out, Jessica!

  5. Hello Jessica,

    My name is Monica I am a part of a wonderful Catholic community. Our ministry of Divine Office has a mission to gather assets beneficial to our community in praying the Liturgy of the Hours. Our site contains free daily audio of several of the daily hours.
    I don't make a secret of the fact that we would love if you and your friend would visit our blog and maybe be a part of a growing Catholic family!

    Pray with us
    Enter Our Community

    Please pray with us, we are praying for you!

    Thank you and may God bless you,


  6. These sound yummy. A friend will be bringing these to our St. Joseph Altar celebration tomorrow.