Hope you brought your appetite...
you're going to need it! Today, we're going to talk about Ricotta Cream Turnover, or "Ravioli con Crema di Ricotta" or "Cassateddi Fritti o 'Nfurnati" in Italian.
My research reveals that these little Italian Desserts are a spin-off from the "breast of virgin" or "minni of virgin".
They are small pouches of pastry dough which contain mounds of pudding with cherries on top to form the "nipples".
It is said that the Sicilians eat this dessert reverently in honor of martyred St.
Originally, they were either baked or fried around March 20 as the spring equinox occurs to signal the beginning of the spring season.
In the provinces of Trapani and Syracuse, these Italian desserts are made for Carnevale which is a feast that occurs before Lent.
They are also prepared for the Christmas Season.
Because these delicious pastries have become so well liked, they are now pretty much prepared year round and are a very popular snack whether baked or fried.
The original version used ricotta, honey and spices for the filling but more recent versions are using puddings and preserved fruits as the filling.
The Recipe: For the Filling
- 2 1/2 lb.
- 1cup granulated sugar or ½ cup of honey
- 4 oz.
- 4 oz.
diced preserved fruit
- Pinch of vanilla powder
- 1 drop cinnamon oil
- Zest of 1 orange or 1 drop of orange extract
- Small pinch of salt
- 2 lb.
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar or 6 tablespoons of honey
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil or 4 oz.
Crisco or butter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 shots of cognac or vodka or ½ cup of Marsala wine
- Small pinch of salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Water if needed
- Canola or corn oil for deep frying
- 2 eggs beaten with 4 tablespoons of milk for the egg-wash if baking the cassateddi.
Filling should be of a smooth consistency.
If filling is too watery add some crumbs made of sponge cake or cookies.
The Dough Combine all ingredients to make dough and knead for 4-5 minutes.
The dough ball should be smooth and resemble the consistency of bread or pizza dough.
Add some water if the dough is too hard to knead.
Cover and rest dough for 20/30 minutes.
Cut the dough in 4 pieces, and then cut again to divide each piece into 6 pieces, shape into balls.
The Cassateddi Roll each piece of dough with a rolling pin to 1/8 inch, giving an elliptical shape.
Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each piece of rolled out dough, and pull the long edge of the dough over the filling to form the shape of a half moon, press down on the edges to create a good seal to prevent the filling from leaking.
Place them on a greased baking sheet.
Repeat this with all of the pieces of dough.
Proceed with the cooking.
To Fry Heat the oil in a heavy sauce pan.
Deep fry the cassateddi over a medium heat until a golden color on both sides.
Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a dish covered with paper towels to drain.
Sprinkle with granulated sugar or honey and serve hot or cold.
To Bake Mix the eggs and 4 tablespoons of milk together to make the "egg wash".
Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash" over the cassateddi and bake at 375 degrees, until a golden color.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Sprinkle with a light dusting of powdered sugar or honey, serve hot or cold.
Yield: approximately 24 cassateddi (turnovers) Note: If you'd prefer to use a special pudding recipe that you love, feel free to modify to your hearts content.