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Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:02 pmNewbie "Fry Cook" Poster
Sfogliatelle Can anyone tell me if wet or dry ricotta used in this recipe? I have made them several times with "dry" ricotta, but the filling is quite difficult to work with. I have been reluctant to try "wet" ricotta simply because the usual amout of work in making the (traditional) sfogliatelle. I would hate to have to throw them out! Thanks!
Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:25 pmForum Host
Since the recipe calls for the ricotta to be drained, that suggests that you start with wet ricotta.
Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:30 pmForum Host
Sfogliatelle Can anyone tell me if wet or dry ricotta used in this recipe? I have made them several times with "dry" ricotta, but the filling is quite difficult to work with. I have been reluctant to try "wet" ricotta simply because the usual amount of work in making the (traditional) sfogliatelle. I would hate to have to throw them out! Thanks!
First let me say that if you are trying to duplicate the "pastry shop filling" in pastry shop sfogliatelle, then you will need a different filling recipe. Most pastry shops that still make their own sfogliatelle filling use either a cooked (semolina based) filling, to which the fresh ricotta, candied orange peel, citron, eggs, etc are added, OR a cooked flour base to which the usual additions are added.
Homemade sfogliatelle fillings are usually not cooked, which is why the filling texture is a bit different than pastry shop sfogliatelle. There are two schools of thought on homemade fillings.
One insists that powdered/confectioner's sugar be used in the filling because it contains cornstarch, which helps to stiffen the filling.
The other insists that superfine granulated sugar/bar sugar be used because it does not contain cornstarch which makes the filling too stiff. - I think it is personal preference (what works best for you) as to the type of sugar you use - each filling type has its own merit.
Ok, with that said.....
When you say the filling is "difficult to work with", do you mean that the filling is too soft/wet or too stiff/dry?
[I am assuming (maybe wrongly) that your filling is too dry/stiff.]
If by "dry" ricotta you mean impastata ricotta (aka pastry ricotta), I would suggest adding a very small amount (1-2 tbs) of heavy cream to loosen it a bit if your filling is too stiff.
If you are using fresh ricotta (which is called for in the recipe) that you have drained to remove some of the extra whey, then perhaps you are draining it too long and the cheese is too dry.
I would think that the addition of the two eggs to the ricotta should add enough liquid to the drained fresh ricotta, have you tried omitting the flour? Since you are using confectioner's sugar (which contains cornstarch), you may not need the extra flour.
If your filling is too soft/wet to work with, I would suggest:
- draining the cheese longer (or try a different brand if that is an option)
- use only 1 whole egg instead of two OR 2 yolks instead of the whole eggs
- let the filling sit for awhile after mixing (10-15 min) it to allow the flour to hydrate which would make the filling thicker, you may need to add a bit (1 - 2 tsps) more flour.
Thought you might find this interesting....there is a video on you tube that shows how to make "pastry shop" sfogliatelle at home without an extra long table for stretching the dough.
(edited to add video link )
Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:57 pmNewbie "Fry Cook" Poster
Thank you. I do in fact, follow a recipe that emulates a pastry shop filling for the sfogliatelle. It is a cooked semolina-based filling. It is quite an undertaking and I usually allow myself two days in which to complete it. When done, however, it is quite authentic. However, the recipe does not specify what type of ricotta, it simply states "ricotta". I get a "dry" ricotta from a local Itatian deli, but the filling becomes very stiff/dry and difficult to work with whether in the KitchenAid or by hand. It is a challange. I know that the "dry" ricotta I use is fresh, but other than that, I'm not sure what it is called. My recipe also calls for lard and when all is said and done I am thrilled with the finished product which takes me back to my childhood (many, many years ago). It is quite like genuine pastry shop sfogliatelle, but it is labor intensive so I thought I would try this food.com recipe with a total time of one hour, 30 minutes, NOT two days! Also, I deluded myself in believing the shortening might be a little healthier than the lard! I was hoping the food.com recipe would taste and feel like my two day affair. My recipe also calls for simply "granulated sugar" for the filling. I guess I will specify impastata for the ricotta and hope it is not what I am already using. If I am told it is the same, I will try adding the heavy cream as you suggest. Again, thank you very much. You have clarified much for me about this wonderful pastry!
Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:35 pmForum Host
Sfogliatelle is also my favorite pastry! It sounds like you and I make them the same way You are right, they are labor intensive to make, especially if you aren't making them a few times a day "to get your speed up" LOL. However, making them over a day or two makes the process quite manageable. (BTW in the assembled but unbaked state, they freeze well.)
Since you are making sfogliatelle ricce with the cooked semolina ricotta filling and not the uncooked all ricotta filling, I would say you should use what you are calling "wet" ricotta. The cooked semolina adds the dryness and firmness that the filling needs. If the ricotta is too dry, the filling will be too stiff.
I wouldn't use impastata ricotta with a cooked semolina filling, but I would use it for an uncooked all ricotta filling and a cannoli filling. Many times draining "fresh/wet" ricotta still leaves the cheese too "wet" for either of those applications.
As mentioned before, if you prefer using the "dry" ricotta with the cooked semolina, you could add a bit of cream to the filling to help loosen it a bit.
You could also try....
- using a little less semolina
- using a little more water in the semolina
- cooking the semolina a minute or two less so that it isn't quite as firm/stiff.
I would be interested to know what ended up working for you.
Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:18 amNewbie "Fry Cook" Poster
Thank you again for yur help! I will let you know how things work out.
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