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Traditional Abruzzo ricotta soffioni: a delight all year round, not just for Easter

Traditional Abruzzo ricotta soffioni: a delight all year round, not just for Easter

Ricotta Soffioni, a popular treat from Abruzzo, dispels the myth that it is reserved only for Easter. These delicious pastries consist of tender shortcrust pastry filled with a creamy ricotta mixture, flavored with vanilla, cinnamon and lemon zest. The ricotta filling, lightened with beaten egg whites, creates a soft, richly flavored center that perfectly complements the crispy dough.

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Why you'll love it:

Ricotta Soffioni offers a harmonious blend of textures and flavors. The crispy dough and moist, flavorful ricotta filling provide a satisfying contrast that makes these pastries a favorite. Using sheep's ricotta adds a depth of flavor that sets these treats apart from ordinary ricotta desserts. They are perfect for those who enjoy traditional Italian pastries with a touch of regional authenticity.

Perfect occasion:

Although traditionally associated with Easter, Ricotta Soffioni are enjoyed all year round in Abruzzo, making them a versatile choice for all occasions. They are perfect for family gatherings, special celebrations or as a luxurious treat with afternoon coffee or tea. These baked goods are also great for holiday parties or as a weekend baking project to share with friends and family.

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Decorating Tips:

Once cooked and cooled slightly, sprinkle the Soffioni with powdered sugar to enhance their sweetness and add a visually appealing finish. Serving them on a decorative platter with fresh berries or a dollop of whipped cream can make them even more inviting.

Ingredients:

  • For the shortcrust pastry:
    • 300 g all-purpose flour
    • 2 eggs
    • 80 g of sugar
    • 50 g extra virgin olive oil
  • For the ricotta filling:
    • 600 g of well-drained sheep's milk ricotta
    • 6 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
    • 150 g) sugar
    • Optional flavors: vanilla extract, cinnamon, grated lemon zest
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Instructions:

  1. Prepare the pastry:
    • Mix flour, sugar, eggs and oil in a bowl. Knead to form a smooth dough.
    • Let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Make the filling:
    • Beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Add the sifted ricotta and the chosen flavorings (vanilla, cinnamon, lemon zest) and mix gently.
    • In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the ricotta mixture to keep it fluffy.
  3. Assemble the pastries:
    • Roll out the dough to about 1/2 cm thickness and cut it into squares.
    • Grease muffin tins (or a single large muffin tin) with butter.
    • Line the molds with the squares of dough, leaving the edges overhanging.
    • Pour the ricotta mixture into the pastry-lined molds. Fold the excess dough over the filling.
  4. Pastry shop:
    • Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F).
    • Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 160°C (320°F) and bake for another 35 minutes.
    • Turn off the oven and leave the pastries inside with the door slightly ajar for 10 minutes.

Enjoy these traditional Abruzzo ricotta soffioni at any time of the year, a testament to the region's rich culinary heritage!

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