Crisp Ricotta Pastries

Serves: 12
Total Calories: 461


3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
2/3 cup (about) water

1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fine semolina or cream of wheat cereal
1 cup whole or part-skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup very finely chopped candied citron or orange peel

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
confectioners' sugar


1 In a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the flour and the salt. Add the shortening and butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the machine running, add the honey and about 1/2 cup of the water. Add more water a spoonful at a time until the dough begins to come together and form a ball. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 1 minute or until smooth. Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour up to overnight.

2 Prepare the filling: In a medium saucepan, stir together the water, sugar, and semolina. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Cook until the mixture is thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the ricotta, zest, and cinnamon. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix in the citron or orange peel. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour up to 24 hours.

3 To shape the sfogliatelle, melt the remaining 1/2 cup of shortening and 1/4 cup of butter together. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Place one piece on a lightly floured surface. Keep the remaining dough covered with an overturned bowl while you work. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle, at least 24 inches long by 6 inches wide. Set the strip of dough aside while you roll out the remaining pieces in the same way.

4 Lightly brush one strip of dough with the melted shortening and butter. Place a second strip on top and repeat the brushing. Stack and brush the remaining pieces in the same way.

5 Beginning at one of the narrow ends, tightly roll up the stack of dough into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. Cover the remaining shortening mixture and refrigerate until ready to proceed.

6 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover two large baking sheets with foil.

7 Trim the ends of the rolled up dough to make them even. Cut the dough crosswise into twelve 1/2-inch slices. Place one slice cut-side down on a lightly floured surface. Center a rolling pin on the slice and roll first to the left, then to the right to flatten the dough into an oval shape about 6-inches long. Place about two tablespoons of the filling to one side of the center. Fold the other half of the dough over and press it lightly around the edges to seal. Place the sfogliatelle on a prepared baking sheet. Continue making the remaining sfogliatelle in the same way.

8 In a small saucepan, melt the reserved shortening mixture. Brush the mixture over the pastries. Bake 15 minutes. Brush again with the shortening. Bake another 10 minutes, and brush again with the shortening. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more or until the pastries are golden and crisp.

9 Transfer the sfogliatelle onto a rack to cool slightly. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 12
Total Calories: 461
Calories from Fat: 179

This Crisp Ricotta Pastries recipe is from the Cook'n in Italy Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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