Sfogliatelle was my Grandfathers favorite dessert. Ever since he passed away about a year ago, I have been meaning to try and make this Italian delicacy at home. I knew it would be pretty tough, but I thought that with my mom and sisters help we would be able to figure it out. After reading countless recipes and watching a bunch of youtube videos, we were finally ready to give it a shot! While it is still a fairly involved recipe with some advanced techniques, it was actually much easier than I had expected! It was a fun family project with delicious results. I went with a fairly traditional filling of polenta and ricotta, but if I can convince everyone to do this again some time (maybe next year?), I would like to get a bit more creative and try something like raspberry, or even try the more American version; lobster tails!
The dough was simply flour, water, and salt.
To knead the dough, you need to run it through your pasta maker about 16 times on the thickest setting, folding it over itself after every time.
As you can see, the dough starts out pretty rough, but ends up nice and smooth after all the kneading. This went into the fridge for 4 hours.
In the mean time, Whip up some lard-butter! YUM!
Ok, now that the dough has rested, we run it through the pasta machine again. Just like pasta, go incrementally thinner until you reach the thinnest setting.
But it's STILL not thin enough! Stretch the sheets out thinner until you can see through them. make them about double the width if you can. Dont worry if you make a few holes.
My sister claimed to be the expert of stretching. Must be all that yoga? Cheesy joke, I know...
After the dough is stretched fully, spread it with a thin coating of the lard-butter.
Then roll it up!
After you are done rolling, place it onto another sheet and start rolling some more! It took us 3 table-length sheets to make it this thick.The rolls went back to the fridge to chill some more and I quickly made the filling. A simple polenta with lots of ricotta and lemon juice. Most recipes use orange but we like lemon better.
Now its time to shape and fill these things.
It was at this moment where I started thinking..."Hey, this might just actually work!"
First you smoosh your little pinwheels a bit, then form a cone with them. The smooshing part might seem like it is ruining all your effort to create the layers, but trust me it works.
Pipe the filling into the cone.
And seal it up.
Everyone hard at work.
Finally out of the oven.
Quick brush of powdered sugar.
The single best moment was right when these came out of the oven and everyone tried them, all you could hear was loud crunching and we knew it was a complete success!
All dressed up.
The layers were so perfect. Nice work everyone! Papa would be proud.
I used this recipe as a guide. For the filling, I doubled the ricotta and used lemon instead of orange. Instead of doubling the ricotta, it would have been better to half the polenta because there was way too much and it wasn't quite sweet enough. I also watched these four videos for tips.
While it was a bit of time and effort, it was a nice day catching up with family, and it was a very rewarding feeling of accomplishment at the end. I was expecting the hardest recipe I had ever made, but really as long as you have some help and pay attention to detail you wont have trouble. The whole time we were making them I was thinking to myself, who is the person that invented this amazing pastry? So I did some searching and found a nice little writeup about it's origins.