Friday, February 22, 2013

soffioni di ricotta or Fresh Ricotta Pastries

I’ve been carrying around a heavy burden for the last week. What I did was truly awful. Let me back up for a second. I’ve always had this curse of saying the candid things that pop into my head. Believe me I’ve worked hard over the years to put a lid on the lip leakage. Every once in a while though I slip up and in a big way I might add.

Last weekend I was in the mall looking for a pair of shoes. I’m standing there in the shoe store (probably should note it was a comfortable shoe store) and there is an older woman busy trying on and modeling (sorry I can’t sugar coat this) the ugliest most practical sandals I’ve ever seen complete with her toes hanging off the end. The sweet little thing was as proud as one could be of her decision to purchase the world’s worst sandals. She looked over at me and beamed, “Dear you must try these on!”

I could have just smiled and nodded, but no I had to look at her with the “really” lady look and blurt out, “Uhm, no thanks!” You see I’ve felt like pond scum ever since, I mean I probably ruined comfortable sandals for this woman for like ever. I can only imagine that every time she goes to try on sandals my face will pop in her head. Not in a good way either. 

I’ve been going round and round trying to figure out the best approach to rid myself of the guilt. What does one do in such a predicament? I considered confession but I was afraid while I was in the confessional my loose lips would sink ships. 

I had no choice you see, I had to go to the kitchen confessional and bake something.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
Pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2 pound whole ricotta
2 eggs separated
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Zest of one blood orange or lemon

Fresh blackberries
Confectioners' sugar

1)  Make dough:  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and pinch of salt.  Mound flour mixture, then form a well in center.  Add eggs and butter to the well.  Using a fork, gently break up yolks and slowly incorporate flour from the inside rim of the well until liquid is absorbed, then knead in bowl until dough forms a complete mass.

2)  Transfer dough to a clean work surface to knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and let firm up in fridge at least one hour.

Traditionally these call for olive oil in the dough, but since I can't tell any more lies, they dough is much more flakey and tender this way.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

3)  Make filling:  In a large bowl, whisk together cheese, egg yolks, granulated sugar and zest until smooth.

4)  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  In two additions, fold whites into cheese mixture.

5)  Grease 8 muffin cups with butter or no-stick spray.

6)  Roll out dough to a 18-inch x 10-inch rectangle, 1/4" thick.  Use a fluted pastry wheel or pizza cutter and cut out 8 (4-inch) squares; discard extra dough.  Fit squares into prepared muffin cups, let the corners of the pastry overlap edges of pan.  Place a couple fresh blackberries if you'd like at the bottom of some or all of the cups and cover with the filling.

Fold the dough corners over the filling.

Bake, rotating once, until pastries are puffed and golden, 25-30 minutes.  Cool in pan 10 minutes and then remove and cool on rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners sugar just prior to serving.  I served mine with more fresh blackberries on the side.

I'm headed back to the mall to hand these goodies off to a woman with questionable footwear and tell her, “Please forgive me!” One has to correct their wrongs in this lifetime, no matter the extreme measure that have to be taken.

Enjoy your weekend,



  1. Lol you are too funny! I love these pastries, the citrus zest is perfect!

  2. Brilliant! Funny story and I want those pastries PDQ.

  3. Ok, please let me know which mall you'll be heading to with those bad boys so I can get there first. I'll be the one trying with hot pink polish on my toes, trying on hideous sandals.

  4. Gina,
    Your pastries are so mouthwatering, I'm drooling all over the screen. I've never made these or, any pastry with ricotta, but I have to try. Hope that you had fun at the mall:)

    Have a great weekend!

  5. Oh Gina, your penance makes it all better! Hope you found some hot fashionista shoes!!! :)

  6. It's hard to get rid of that kind of guilt, isn't it? Maybe you'll run into the same woman again and make it up to her!

    Your pastries look great, especially with blackberries.

  7. Well, a little of honesty wouldn't hurt. But I am glad that you decided to go to confession or these little heavenly treats wouldn't be here at all. These look divine with black berries.

  8. What beautiful and delicious looking pastry my friend :D


  9. You are so sweet...only a kind soul would feel such guilt! Loving your pastries...why does my dough never look so perfect??? Ricotta and blackberries are such a delicious filling...I could eat these for breakfast, lunch AND dinner. Thanks for tracking me down, Gina :) xo

  10. My mouth often gets me in trouble too! But I wouldn't worry - she probably just thought you weren't interested in sandals. Anyway, if you bake these great looking ricotta pastries every time you feel guilty, I say bring on the guilt! These look wonderful - thanks.

  11. I love anything with ricotta. These look so incredibly delicious and a perfect dessert for Easter! I have no doubt you would redeem yourself with these.

  12. Haha, that poor lady! You are such a sweetheart for feeling guilty and the need to confess your "sin". Boy have I been there, in fact I just did 10 minutes ago :/ I'm sure the lady isn't holding anything against you. And these pastries would show her how sweet you really are. xx

  13. I need to make these. I will make these. I love these. (Ricotta and I have had quite "the thing" for decades.) I often wear comfortable shoes. Very comfortable shoes. Really comfortable shoes.

    1. p.s. I wear comfy ones too when I'm working, but sandals, now thats a different story, lol. Make these, you will love them. They are dangerously good though.

  14. I love that the combination of ricotta and citrus in these pastries! Penance, indeed :)