“Bocconotti” di ricotta alla romana

Ricotta-filled pastries

The same amount of short-pastry dough can be used in place of the pasta frolla romana.

Ingredients

For the Pasta Frolla Romana

  • 10½ ounces (300 g) flour
  • ounces (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 pesticide-free lemon
  • ounces (150 g) cold lard or equal parts cold lard and butter
  • 3 egg yolks

For the Filling

  • ounces (50 g) mixed candied fruits
  • 1 pound (450 g) ricotta, preferably ricotta romana
  • 3 ounces (80 g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ground cinnamon

To Assemble

  • 1 egg white
  • 4 teaspoons (20 g) butter

Method

To make the pastry, sift together the flour and granulated sugar onto a board. Grate the rind (colored part only) from the lemon. Cut the lard into small pieces. Add the lard and grated rind to the flour mixture and work them in with fingertips until the mixture is the consistency of coarse crumbs. Shape the mixture into a mound and make a well in the center. Add the egg yolks to the well and begin to incorporate them into the flour with a fork. When the mixture is too stiff to use a fork any longer, begin using your hands. Work the ingredients together quickly just until a smooth, silky dough forms. You will have 1 pound (450 g) dough. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Make the filling while the dough rises. Chop the candied fruits and put in a bowl. Add the ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, egg yolks, and a pinch of cinnamon and mix well.

Once the dough has rested, assemble the pastries. Lightly beat the egg white and set aside. Butter the bottom of a 10-inch (25-cm) round baking pan (or a 9-inch /23-cm square pan). Divide the dough into two portions, one slightly larger than other. Roll out the large portion into a thin disk and use to line the bottom and sides of the prepared baking pan. Spoon the filling into the pastry shell, spreading it evenly. Roll out the second dough portion into a thin disk and lay it over the filling. Carefully seal together the edges of the bottom and top crust. Brush the top crust with the beaten egg white.

Bake in an oven preheated to 375°F (190°C) for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for a while. Then, using a very sharp knife, cut the pastry, still in the pan, into 10 to 12 uniform pieces. Let cool completely before removing them from the pan.

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