Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Super Flaky Pastry from Italy, yumm.

The baking challenge for this month turned into an even greater challenge than I realized! We were to choose to make homemade ricotta cheese or candied orange peel, to make a dough, and then finally to attempt to make Sfogliatelle Riccia, Sfogliatelle Frolla, or American inspired Lobster Tails. My initial plan was to make the ricotta then to make the Riccia dough, however I had a small, water issue, my kitchen flooded on the day I had planned to make the dough. By flooding I mean, about an inch to an inch and a half, of water that was standing in my kitchen, from our ice maker in our freezer that broke. We had a cleaning crew that had a large number of fans blowing air around our home attempting to dry out, our floor, kitchen floor, cabinetry, and walls; however none of this before my sweet husband attempted to extract the water from the floor.

Now the other thing that should be noted is that I had 15 air movers, a dehumidifier, and my appliances were pulled out from their assigned spaces.


This made for a miserable few days, fortunately, the flood occurred on Thursday, and we were moving our appliances back in on the next Tuesday night. I will add however that the floor, cabinetry, many baseboards, and doors still need to be replaced so my kitchen counters are still a wreck.

On to the Challenge:

Blog-checking lines: Sandie of the lovely blog, Crumbs of Love, was our November hostess. Sandie challenged us to make a traditional Italian dessert, along with it's American version - Sfogliatelle (or better known in the US -lobster tails!) The flakey, 1000 layers of super thin dough, shaped into a horn and filled with a scrumptious filling. Cosi buono!

I ended up making the ricotta two times, and I was thoroughly surprised at how easy and delicious it was! After the first attempt as I did not want to throw it all out I made a crockpot penne pasta which was much like a layered lasagna. It was very tasty and rich, not to mention, the hubs loved it! So once my kitchen was back together to a certain extent, I decided I was going to give this challenge another attempt, and I made more Ricotta.

Milk and Cream awaiting boiling.

Ricotta after sitting in the cheese cloth for a few hours.
The second round of Ricotta did not make as much as the first batch, so I am not sure if I had an issue with the cream, boiled the milk too long, or if my ingredients were not fresh enough as I was using the dairy just before expiration dates, and the lemons I had for a while.
The next step was to make the dough and let it sit over night in the fridge, the dough was gorgeous! I would love to find multiple uses for the dough it was so pretty! Once my dough had time to sit overnight, it was time to tackle the rolling it out to an incredibly thin sheet. I was able to use my pasta hand crank dough roller and had a bit of trial and error but came up with a way to roll thin batches, stretching small sections, and then layering them together, rolling the log up with the shortening and butter mixture.
This is my dining room table being utilized for the rolling of the dough.

The thinly stretched dough with the shortening and butter mixture.

Here is the dough in the process of being rolled into the log before cutting.
I was so proud of my ability to get the dough so thin and the fact that I was able to use my pasta roller made me thrilled!!!! I was so fortunate that I had the pasta roller, and am just so impressed by the bloggers who had to utilize their hand rolling skills only.
After the dough is rolled up it sits in the fridge for a few hours to solidify the shortening and butter. Then you get to cut the slices. I was amazed to see how you really could see the layers of each cut piece.
This photo is a bit bright, and does not do the layers much justice, but you can see them a little bit.
This one is a little better, which I took with my phone.
The next step is to push the little layers our much like a collapsing cup so there is space for the filling. The filling is a semolina, homemade ricotta, and traditionally candied orange peel, I opted for candied cherries, as one of the other bloggers utilized that combination, and I was pleased to follow that bloggers lead. Here are the photos of my filling.
First the semolina after it had been cooked and chilled, much like a chilled polenta.

Ricotta and semolina just before mixing.

Mixture with the cherries added to it.
The final step was to fill the pastry and then bake it. The filling was a very thick filling, and when I initially tried to put it in a zip lock bag and use that to fill the pastry the bag split in several places. Once I located my pastry bags though I was ready to fill and bake!

These turned out so wonderful. I enjoyed eating a few with my husband at home, and took the remainder to work.
Don't they look wonderful!

The crunch was amazing, you see my little Gigi in the background listening while tilting her head at the crunch.
When I say there is an amazing crunch, I am not kidding, I had to call a few folks just to share how crunchy it was. Such a decadent treat, and one I had to share with work. 
I had so much of the  filling left over that I decided to try the Frolla as it would be relatively easy to do on a day that I had to work as well as getting pre-work sleep. Everyone at work loved the efforts of both type of Sfogliatelle.
Thank you so much Emma! She is enjoying the Frolla type.
This challenge was so fun, and I had grand ideas of making more with my mom to enjoy with our Thanksgiving meal, however due to illness, the dread allergy cold, we opted to pass on this as it is a lot of work. I plan though to make these again in the future, maybe come up with an idea to make a savory filling, utilizing polenta, cheese, and something else. I hope you enjoyed reading and thanks for stopping by! 



  1. Oh my gosh, your sfogliatelle look amazing, and to think you did all that after that flood in your kitchen??? Impressive!!! I really hope that the kitchen work goes quickly and smoothly for you. And that you then reward yourself with more of these beauties!! :)

  2. Oh gosh, that kitchen flood sounds awful :( I'm impressed that you still got this challenge done anyway, and with such a good result! Great idea to use waxed paper for rolling out the dough - I know I made a huge greasy mess of my kitchen counters.

  3. I'm sorry about your kitchen incident. But your sfogliatelles still look great! The filling with cherries sounds so yummy. I love the title by the way :P