Ravioli San Giuseppe

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Keep it Simple

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1993

  • About

The nearest thing I can think of which comes close to the Renaissance taste of this unusual dessert is a really good mince pie. They are fiddly to make and, unusually for ravioli, are baked in the oven, but are well worth the effort.

There are various ways you can ring the changes on the filling: for example, try substituting fresh or dried figs for the prunes, or dried apricbts or dates.


  • For the Dough
  • 450g/1lb flour
  • 140g/5oz caster sugar
  • 255g/9oz butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • pinch of salt
  • icing sugar, to dust


    Mise en Place

    First make the dough: put the flour and sugar into the food processor. Working at full speed, add the butter in pieces until incorporated. Then add the eggs, the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. (The addition of salt is an odd thing: it makes all the difference to the taste, but you should not be able to taste it in the cooked ravioli. If you can then you are in trouble.) The dough should be just holding together. Scrape it on to a sheet of cling film, form into a cylinder and chill. The high butter content means it will keep well in the fridge.

    Make the filling: make weak China tea in the heatproof bowl, sweeten it well with 2 or 3 teaspoons of the sugar and soak the prunes in it. (You need to sweeten it or the natural sugar in the fruit leaches out into the tea, leaving you with rather pointless prunes.) You can now buy some really good Californian prunes that have been dried then partially reconstituted and these take very little soaking. If using very dry prunes, however, soak them for several hours.

    Peel, core and slice the apples (no need to be too fussy as they are going to be cooked until they disintegrate) • Toast the pine nuts briefly under the grill, watching them throughout (throwing away burnt pine nuts is an expensive and unamusing exercise).