Sardinian ricotta, orange and honey pastries
Makes 12 | total time
- 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 25g soft unsalted butter
- 150g ricotta cheese
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 tbsp cut mixed peel, chopped finely
- about 250ml light olive oil, for frying
- 100ml orange blossom honey
At their best when freshly cooked; the pastries can be made to the end of step 5 an hour before frying. Keep at room temperature.
- First make the dough. Place the flour in a large bowl with a pinch of salt and mix well. Slowly add up to 125ml cold water, a little at a time, until you have a smooth, silky dough.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead the butter into the dough until it is thoroughly incorporated, creating a shiny, stretchy dough. Cover and set aside to rest for about half an hour.
- Mix the ricotta, orange zest and mixed peel together for the filling and set aside.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface to the thickness of a 20p coin then cut out 24 rounds using a 6.5cm plain round cutter (cut around a glass if you don't have a cutter of this size). Re-roll as necessary.
- Spoon a heaped teaspoon of filling onto the centre of 6 of the rounds. Brush the edges with a little water to help seal, then top each with another dough round and press the edges down well with your fingers before using the tines of a fork to seal the edges decoratively. As they are made, transfer to a lightly floured tray or plate. Repeat with the remaining pastry rounds and ricotta filling.
- Fill a heavy-based wide saucepan or frying pan with olive oil – about 2.5cm deep. Heat gently to 180°C (test it using a kitchen thermometer). Add 4 of the pastries and fry until golden, 1-2 minutes, then flip over and repeat. Put on kitchen paper; keep warm while you cook the remaining pastries.
- Put the honey in a small saucepan and heat gently until very runny. Spoon 1 teaspoon of honey over each pastry while still warm and serve immediately.