|Place of origin||Italy|
|Region or state||Province of Salerno|
|Main ingredient(s)||Pastry dough|
|Variations||Many types of fillings|
Sfogliatelle (Italian pronunciation: [sfɔʎʎaˈtɛllɛ], singular: sfogliatella), are shell shaped filled pastries native to Italian cuisine. "Sfogliatelle" means "many leaves/layers," the pastry's texture resembling leaves stacked on each other.
There is a wide array of dough recipes for Sfogliatelle, but in all cases the dough is stretched out on a large table, brushed with a fat (butter, lard, shortening or a mixture), then rolled, once formed into a rolled log (much like a Swiss roll, but with many more layers), disks are cut from the end and shaped to form pockets to hold the filling. Filling recipes also vary; some examples are an orange-flavored ricotta filling, almond paste or candied peel of citron.
The dough is sealed around the filling and the pastries baked till their characteristic ridges form as the layers of dough separate.
Main dough ingredients
Salt, shortening, and flour.
In Naples, sfogliatelle is sometimes called "sfogliatella riccia" ("curly") to distinguish it from "sfogliatelle frolla", a less refined pastry which uses a shortcrust dough that does not form the more labor intensive authentic sfogliatelle dough's characteristic layers.
Italian-American bakeries, especially in the New York City area, created a cousin pastry to the sfogliatelle in the 1900s called a "lobster tail" or "egg plant" version. The pastry has the same outside as sfogliatelle, but instead of the ricotta filling, there is a French cream, similar to that of a whipped cream inside. This version was not the original shape or filling used. Most bakeries still make the original style "Clam Shell" with ricotta filling. This version was changed because the taste was not as sweet as the French cream filling.
A somewhat similar savory pastry is made in Malta is the Pastizzi, which filled with ricotta cheese; Pastizzi tal-Pizelli use a pea filling (note, this is not vegetarian as there is a little meat in the filling). While similar, the Maltese pastizzi predates the invention of sfogliatelle—Archaeologists say old merchant ledgers list pastizzi even before the time of the knights who built Valletta, the capital city of Malta, which was started in 1566.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sfogliatelle|