Sunday, August 12, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Sfogliatelle / Shfooyadell' (Baked Ricotta-Filled Pastries)

It's summer.
It's hot.
It's certainly too hot to make Sfogliatelle.
Or Shfooyadell' if you want to sound like a paisano.

For the most part, I really like Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook.
The Sfogliatelle recipe is in the If I Couldn't Eat, I'd F**king Die chapter. 
This chapter is making Artie's Mia Cucina chapter look practical. 
I mean, you could f**king die making some of the recipes in this chapter.

Bobby Bacala, author of the F**king Die chapter, said his dear Ma, Mr. Falcone the baker, and Sfogliatelle are the things he associates with a contented life.

It takes all kinds.
Well, some people like to read recipes.
So here, for your reading pleasure, is the recipe for Sfogliatelle.   

                        Sfogliatelle / Shfooyadell' 

Makes 12


Put in a food processor
3 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

1/4 Cup solid vegetable shortening or lard
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
With the machine running, add 
1 teaspoon honey
1⁄2 Cup water
Add more water a spoonful at a time until the dough begins to form a ball. 
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. 
Knead the dough 1 minute, or until smooth. 
Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. 
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.


Stir together in a medium saucepan
1 Cup water
1/4 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup fine semolina or Cream of Wheat cereal
Place over medium heat.
Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. 
Cook for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is thick. 
Remove from the heat.
Stir in
1 Cup ricotta 
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mix in
1/4 Cup chopped candied citron or candied orange peel
Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To Assemble

Melt in a small saucepan
1/2 Cup solid vegetable shortening or lard
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Divide the dough into 4 pieces. 
Place one piece on a lightly floured surface. 
Keep the remaining dough covered while you work. 
With a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle 24 inches by 6 inches. 
Set the strip of dough aside while you roll out remaining pieces in the same way.

Brush one strip of dough with the melted shortening / butter. 
Place a second strip on top and repeat the brushing. 
Stack and brush the remaining pieces in the same way.
Beginning at one of the narrow ends, tightly roll up the stack of dough into a log. 
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or until firm. 
Cover the remaining shortening mixture and refrigerate.

To Bake
Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
Line two large baking sheets with foil.
Trim the ends of the rolled-up dough to make them even. 
Cut the dough 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 top, 
then to the bottom until the dough is thin. 

Place about 2 Tablespoons of the filling to one side of the center. 
Fold the dough over and press the edges lightly to seal. 
Place the sfogliatelle on the prepared baking sheet. 
Continue making the remaining sfogliatelle in the same way.
Melt the reserved shortening mixture. 
Brush some over the pastries. 
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, brushing two more times with the shortening, 
until the pastries are golden and crisp.
Slide the sfogliatelle onto a rack to cool slightly. 

Before serving sprinkle with
Confectioners’ sugar

Sfogliatelle are best served warm. 
If making then ahead, let them cool completely, then refrigerate 
or freeze them tightly wrapped in plastic. 
Reheat in a 350° oven for 10 minutes.

Would I make Shfooyadell'?
But, I hope you enjoyed reading the recipe. 

One recipe down.  Ninety more to go.  


  1. Can't wait to try it.... Xmastime, when my sfogliatell'-lovin' sister is here from NYC.

    1. Happy Holidays to you and your sister, Prismonic!


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