But, I decided to cheat and use filo pastry, rather than make it from scratch. I wasn't able to find any information if this was a reasonable substitute or not. I'll need to try out the real dough as well to be able to comment, but in all, there was still a lot of work to do, even without making the dough from scratch, again for something that's not very impressive, tasty though as it was.
The base recipe I used can be found here. I only used the butter/lard mixture and the filling parts.
90 g unsalted butter at room temperature
90 g lard at room temperature
220 g ready made filo pastry
125 ml full milk
0.6 dl granulated sugar
0.4 dl coarse semolina
0.2 dl plain flour
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 dl ricotta cheese
1 ml cinnamon
zest from 1 small lemon
icing sugar for dusting
vanilla ice cream
- Whisk together the butter and lard to a fluffy homogeneous mixture.
- Depending on the shape of the filo pastry, cut if necessary to get rectangles with the short side being about 20 cm. Stack the rectangles and cover with cling film.
- Starting with one sheet, spread some of the grease mixture over it, overlap with a second sheet about 2 - 3 cm along the longer side and grease it up as well.
- Roll up from the short side,trying to roll as tightly as possible without breaking the filo sheets, massaging any air bubbles gently from the middle and towards the edges.
- When you have about 5 cm left on the second sheet, overlap with a third sheet, grease up and roll up.
- Grease up the outside of the roll, again trying to push any air bubbles out to the edges. Then wrap in double layers of cling film and chill in the fridge at least overnight. Save the left-over grease.
- On the next day, place the milk and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Turn the heat down to low, then slowly add the semolina and flour, stirring quickly and constantly to avoid lumps and continue until the mixture is thick like porridge, about 2 minutes.
- Pour out the porridge onto the prepared baking tray and spread out as evenly as possible, to speed up cooling.
- Once the porridge has cooled down, transfer it to a mixing bowl, it'll break up into pieces, that's OK.
- Add the egg, vanilla, ricotta and cinnamon and whisk to combine well.
- At the end, stir in the lemon zest and transfer the mixture into a piping bag. At this point it can be stored in the fridge until required (~ 3 days or so), but bring to room temperature before using.
- When ready to assemble and bake the sfogliatelle, line two baking trays with baking paper. Use trays with a lip preferably. Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C (non-fan)
- Take out the filo roll from the fridge. Trim the edges to get them even, then cut the roll into 2 cm thick rounds. If you trimmed the edges thinly, they can be combined into one round as well.
- Take each round and holding it with the fingers of both hands, gently use your thumbs to push the inner layers so that a cone forms.
- Pipe ricotta-porridge into the cone to the point where the cone edges can be brought together, but without pinching together.
- Place on a baking tray and brush some more of the grease mixture on top.
Make sure they have enough space to expand and bake for about 25 minutes until deep golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool somewhat. Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Store in an air-tight container, however the pastries will go soft due to the filling.
From the amount of filo pastry, I got 8 sfogliatelle and had more than half of the ricotta porridge left over, I've frozen it and I think it would work nicely in filo pastry, but folded up like a samosa.
Lundulph thought they were way too crispy when we had them on the day of baking and said the second day was better, when the filo pastry had softened somewhat. I didn't mind either.