Sunday, 6 December 2015

Golden Love-Letters from Santa

"Buste di Natale" con Ricotta, Scorza di Cedro, Mirtilli Americani, Miele, Cannella & Pistacchi
"Christmas Envelopes" with Ricotta, Citrus Zest, Cranberries, Honey, Cinnamon & Pistachio

Like litte, sweet, gold and emerald-studded love-letters from Santy Claus- these parcels of film pastry have a delicious message inside- which is indeed "I Love You"- and I am sure that you will love eating them too!

I didn't fuss over the preparation or presentation, I kept these little beauties simple and let them be whatever they would be- because as in real life- the true beauty lies within!

You could roll these up into tubes, make little boats out of the film pastry in a muffin tin and fill them with the creamy filling... just as long as you make this lovely, simple, citrus, cinnamon and cranberry ricotta mix, you know whatever you do is going to taste delicious!

Any regular lemon or lime will do, but I had this lovely Cedro, all the way from Sicily... and how could I refuse taking a tablespoon of zest from it? That's all I needed for 3 parcels- 1 tablespoon of citrus zest, 3 tablespoons of fresh ricotta, 1 egg yolk, 1 handful of cranberries, 1 tablespoon of coarsely chopped pistachio, 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. I chose to use just a little olive oil for my parcels, as I love the flavor of citrus and olive- but you can also use melted butter of course if you prefer.  

And of course, silly me- 6 sheets of filo pastry! (2 per parcel).

Light, flaky, refreshingly citrus flavored with a rich cinnamon touch and those fruity cranberries... and then honey and pistachio?!? Boy- are you ever in for a treat with these!

Begin by turning on your oven to 200°C to get nice and hot, then, chop up the cranberries and add them with the zest, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of honey to the 3 tablespoons of ricotta and stir together thoroughly. No need for a machine or whist of any sorts- a simple spoon will do!

Once the mixture is nice and smooth, ad the egg yolk and work this in- this will keep the mixture smooth and creamy tasting later on.

To make the parcels, I simply spooned out 1/3rd of the cream filling in a diamond form in the center of the pastry.

And then folded the pastry together diagonally too- tucking-in the excess length to keep things tidy. I the brushed the pastry lightly with oil before folding it shut from each side.

All I needed to do then was to fold each side shut and to brush one last time, lightly on the outside with oil... and then into the hot oven they went for 10 minutes on the middle shelf until they were lightly brown from one side. 

I then carefully flipped them over and baked them for a further 5 minutes until the top of the pastry had dried out too.

Once the pastry was dry but not yet browned, I trickled the final tablespoon of honey over them in a criss-cross pattern and sprinkled them with the chopped pistachios, before returning them to the oven for a final 5 minutes... until they were a lovely golden brown.

And there they are- after at least 15 minutes to cool- preferably longer... golden, crispy and totally delicious!

Or alternatively you can of course enjoy them nice and hot- like me!

Golden, flaky, light... but rich and delicious without being overpoweringly sweet! Perfection!

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