Recipe by Phil Franco
Sfogliatella Riccia Shell-shaped Flaky Ricotta Pastries Recipe provided by Adrianna in Sicily: www.cookiesfromitaly.com Sfogliatella is a fan or shell-shaped pastry. It is heavy because it is filled with semolina, ricotta, and candied fruit. It is Neapolitan in origin. Sfogliatelli originated in the Middle East. Yes, the Arabs brought the art to Europe and it became the millefeuille of France, the strudel of Austria, the millefoglie of Sicily, and the sfogliatelli of Naples. The original recipes used a rendered pork fat called strutto, but today the fat is replaced with butter. We have given the pastry recipe too! But, one can buy perfectly good frozen puff pastry in any super market or specialty store if the puff appears a bit overwhelming.
- 1 cup water
- 1⁄2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 pinch salt
- 1⁄2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1⁄2 cup semolina
- 1 cup flour
- 2 ounces flour
- 6 ounces butter
- 2 ounces pork fat
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 3 ounces candied orange peel, diced
- 1 egg yolk
Directions See How It's Made
- Bring the water to a boil, add a pinch of salt and pour in the semolina, stirring so as not to form lumps.
- Cook, stirring for about 8 mins., stirring constantly. Let cool.
- Make a Fontana with the flour. Put half of the butter, a pinch of salt and as much water as necessary to knead the dough to a smooth and elastic consistency. Wrap the dough in a towel and let rest for an hour.
- Sift the ricotta; mix with the semolina, 6 tbs. sugar, a pinch of cinnamon and the candied peel.
- Roll out the pastry with a rolling pin to obtain a 25x18-in. rectangle, 1/16-in. thick. Cut the pastry vertically into 4 strips and place one on top of the other, brushing each one with melted butter. Let rest for half an hour, and then roll up the stack of dough.
- Slice the roll into 10 equal pieces with a very sharp, floured knife. Place the pieces on the pastry board and roll them gently with the rolling pin, first vertically, in an upward direction, and then in a downwards direction, to give them an oval shape.
- Turn the ovals over, place a bit of ricotta filling in the middle of each one, brush the edges with egg yolk, then fold the dough over and press to seal.
- Brush the sfogliatelle with melted strutto and place on a paper greased with butter. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 425ºF for 20 minutes
- Remove from the oven. Brush with melted butter again, lower the temperature to 350ºF and bake for another 20 minutes
- Let cool, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and serve.
- That's it!