Sunday, May 19 2024

This recipe combines the crisp layers of homemade puff pastry with a delicious ricotta filling, crowned with velvety custard and embellished with vibrant red cherries.

Each bite is a harmonious symphony of textures and flavors, capturing the essence of traditional Neapolitan pastry.

Whether you are an experienced pastry chef or a culinary enthusiast, embark on a culinary journey to create these heavenly delights that are sure to transport you to the charming streets of Naples.






MAKES 14-16 Sfogliatelle



For the puff pastry:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • A pinch of salt

For the ricotta filling:

  • 2 cups fresh ricotta
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Grated lemon zest
  • 1 large egg
  • Vanilla (1 vanilla bean or extract)
  • Grated orange zest (optional)

For the pastry cream:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Grated lemon zest
  • Vanilla (1 vanilla bean or extract)

For the topping:

  • Red cherries, fresh or preserved in syrup
  • Powdered sugar (optional)




Preparing the puff pastry:

1. In a bowl, mix the flour with water and a pinch of salt until you have a homogeneous dough. Form a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

2. Roll out the dough on a floured surface, forming a rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the bottom half of the dough. Fold the top half over the buttered dough and seal the edges.

3. Repeat this rolling and folding process at least 6 times, refrigerating the dough between each fold.

4. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before using.

Preparing the ricotta filling:

1. In a bowl, mix the ricotta with sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, egg, and, if desired, orange zest. Mix well until you have a creamy consistency.

Preparing the pastry cream:

1. In a saucepan, heat the milk with lemon zest and vanilla. Do not let it boil, just heat it until just before it starts to bubble.

2. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with sugar until you have a clear and foamy mixture. Add the sifted flour and mix well.

3. Pour the hot milk gradually over the egg mixture, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.

4. Put everything back in the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the cream thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool.

Assembling the sfogliatelle:

1. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut it into rectangular strips.

2. Spread the ricotta filling on half of each strip. Then, fold the other half of the dough over the ricotta, forming a shell shape.

3. Place the sfogliatelle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden.

4. Once cooled, spread the pastry cream on the top of each sfogliatella and decorate with red cherries.

5. Optionally, dust with powdered sugar before serving.

This should yield around 12-16 medium-sized Neapolitan sfogliatelle.

Keep in mind that the exact number depends on the size and thickness of the strips you cut and the amount of filling you use for each.

Enjoy your delicious sfogliatelle!

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