Half-moon shaped baked Easter pastries, filled with sweetened ricotta
Fiadone con ricotta
Servings: makes about 36 fiadoni
For the Pastry Dough
• 6 extra large eggs
• 6 tablespoons sugar
• 4 tablespoons oil
• Flour as much as is needed [about 3 3/4 cups]*
* It all depends on the size of the eggs and the type of equipment one is using to make the dough (The resulting dough should be more on the soft side than on the hard side - kind of like a “cavatelli” dough).
For the Filling
• 2 containers of ricotta, drained (450 grams each)
• 2 egg whites, beaten
• 6 tablespoons sugar
For brushing the tops of the fiadoni
• 4 egg yolks, beaten
To make the dough
Using an electric mixture beat the eggs, add the oil, the sugar and one cup of flour. Continue mixing slowly incorporating a second and a third cup of flour.
By hand, mix well until you have a soft and malleable dough.
Continue kneading for about 8 minutes using the dough hooks of the electric beater.
Once over, divide the dough into two or three parts.
Shape them into balls that you then wrap in clear plastic wrap.
Place them in a dish covered with a linen towel.
Let the dough rest for about 6 hours in a cool place, away from the sun or direct heat.
To make the ricotta filling
Place the ricotta in a bowl and add the sugar. Beat the egg whites with a fork for a minute or so (Do NOT make stiff peaks, as this will create air bubbles in the mixture and ruin the fiadoni!).
Mix the ricotta, sugar and egg white mixture with a wooden spoon until it is nice and smooth (Do NOT use a blender, as the ricotta will have a stronger flavor if it is kept in its natural state).
Keep the mixture in the fridge till needed.
To make the fiadoni
Once the dough has rested, knead the ball for a few minutes and shape it into a log. Cut into portions of about an inch or two and pass them through a pasta machine to the second to last number, forming pastry sheets of about 12 inches long, a touch thicker than lasagna noodles.
With a 4 inch cookie cutter, cut into circles, add a tablespoon and a half of ricotta filling and fold the dough over pressing the edges together with a fork to form a half-moon shape. Any left-over dough can be re-shaped into a ball, and then put through the pasta machine, to get more circles.
Proceed sheet by sheet as the dough tends to harden quickly once flattened and make sure to bake the fiadoni in batches to prevent the pastry dough from becoming soggy.
Before baking, make two tiny air vents on the top side of each pastry pocket, brush them with beaten egg yolk and lay them on a greased aluminum baking sheet.
Bake in a slow oven (about 325°F) on the middle rack for about twenty-five minutes or until the pastries are golden.
Repeat the steps for the remaining ball (or balls) of dough. Keep the cooked fiadoni in the fridge until ready to serve.
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Recipe originated from: Casacalenda, Molise
Also known as Fiadone Dolce, Hiadone or H’iatun’ this style of cheese-filled pastry varies in shape - some look like regular pies or rustic tortes, some look like pastry pockets or turnovers, others look like sweet ravioli (square, round, half-moon or crescent-shaped).
Contributed by: Mary Melfi (her mother’s recipe)
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