The options we have when preparing for dinner is truly enormous. You can go for heavy meals or just a light meal depending on where your mood will lead you.
If you decided on a light meal, going for a heavier dessert can be a perfect match. Italian sfogliatelle can be a perfect choice.
This Italian pastry may not ring a bell to you. But don’t you know that the lobster tail that we know is a derivative of the Italian sfogliatelle? Sfogliatelle is a sea shell shaped pasty with a rich filling that can complete a light dinner.
500 grams of flour
1 pinch of salt
175 ml of water, more if needed
25 grams of honey
450 ml of whole milk
100 grams of white sugar
pinch of salt
150 grams of semolina flour
500grams of ricotta
1 large egg
½ tsp. of vanilla extract
pinch of cinnamon
50 grams of candied orange peel, finely chopped
Topping / Brushing:
150 grams of butter or lard
- Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Pour water and honey and mix to make a stiff dough. Gradually add water while mixing.
- Knead dough on a counter until smooth and supple. Wrap dough in plastic and let it rest inside the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough into four pieces. Roll each piece through a pasta machine using the widest setting. Fold in half and roll again. Repeat the procedure until smooth sheets are created with decreasing width on each roll.
- Place the sheet on the surface when it is 1 mm thick and apply a thin layer of lard or butter. Do the same with the other doughs and roll them into thin layers.
- To create a tight sausage shape, roll up the first thin sheet. Wrap the next thin sheet around the tight sausage-shaped sheet layering to look like a large cylinder. Using a saran wrap, cover it and chill for 1-2 hours for it to firm up.
- To make the filling, in a saucepan, bring the mixture of milk to a boil, sugar, and salt. Add the semolina flour until the mixture thickens and smoothens. Let it cool down in a bowl and mix the other ingredients. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes thick and smooth.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut pastry rolls into 1 cm thick pieces. By using your fingers, grease with butter or lard and create a cone impression at the center.
- Spoon filling and fill in the hollow. Press the edges to lock. After doing the same on the other pieces, line them on a tray.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Once done, let them cool before sprinkling the confectioner’s sugar then serve.
- There are two authentic Italian sfogliatelle recipes, the sfogliatella riccia, and the sfogliatella frolla. The former has a more intricate design with a line that resembles a clam. The latter has a more straightforward appearance although the filling may be the same. Obviously, the American lobster tail is patterned with sfogliatella riccia. All these types of sfogliatelle are served best when they are still hot.
Indeed, knowing how to cook and bake various dishes and pastries is just like traveling the world. It is beyond the taste of dishes and pastries, but we are exposed to many cultures and experiences that can truly enrich us.
Sharing these pastries and dishes with our family and friends will also help them realize that there are more to discover other than our own.