Today the temperature was 75 degrees…another perfect Spring day here in Arizona, even though it’s not Spring quite yet.
Not that we need an excuse, but to celebrate the wonderful weather we’ve been having lately, we’ve baked some fresh ricotta pastries.
This is a quick, tiny and beautiful dessert that can be served any time of year, but it seems especially appropriate on a day like today. In fact, perfect with a tall glass of iced tea as these fresh ricotta pastries are light and not too sweet.
When I look at these pastries, I think that if a lemon soufflé could be a pastry, it would totally want to be this pastry. Enjoy!
Fresh Ricotta Pastries – Soffioni di Ricotta
Recipe from La Cucina Italiana, March/April 2013
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Unsalted butter for greasing muffin tin
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
You’ll also need a nonstick muffin tin with 12 (1/2-cup) cups
Whisk together flour, sugar and pinch salt in a large bowl, Make a well in center and add eggs and oil to the well. Gently break up yolks using a fork and incorporate flour from the inside rim of the well until liquid is absorbed, knead in bowl until dough forms a mostly complete mass.
Transfer dough and any flour in bowl to a clean work surface to knead together until smooth, kneading will usually take 5 minutes. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and leave to rest at room temperature 30 minutes.
Meanwhile for filling, mix together cheese, egg yolks, granulated sugar and zest until smooth in a large mixing bowl.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold whites into cheese mixture in two additions.
Heat oven to 375º F with rack in the middle. Grease 8 muffin cups with butter.
Roll out dough to about 14-inch square, 2 millimeters thick. Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut out 8 (4-inch) squares from dough; discard excess dough. Placed squares into prepared muffin cups, pressing centers into cups and letting corners of pastry overlap edges of pan. Pour the filling into dough-lined cups, then fold dough corners over filling.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating once, until pastries are puffed and golden. Cool in pan on wire rack, 10 minutes. Gently twist pastries to release from cups. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with sifted confectioners’ sugar.