Light and Flaky Pastries from Malta
I have been given the assignment of replicating a Maltese staple know as Pastizzi.
Oh sure why not....
I am not a pastry chef, nor am I a baker of anything except chocolate chip cookies. This was a major challenge!
I watched a few videos on youtube, never making it to the end of any as the making of pastry requires rolling and stretching and stretching and rolling...the dough; not the most exciting of video subject matter. I searched websites and foodie mags in hopes of finding an easier way to replicate the taste if not the beauty. The result is this page.
I must give a shoutout to Ms. Isabelle on #GroupRecipes version 2.0. Isabelle had the courage to break it down and make it easy. I’ve taken her lead and broken it down even further. The results are still baking but I’m feeling I might get a “Nailed It“ on this one!
A #pastizzi is considered a savory staple in #Maltese cuisine. It is traditionally filled with ricotta cheese or mushy peas....yuck. They are diamond shaped pastries made from a dough similar to Greek phyllo and are baked on metal trays. They are made at home, in small shops and are sold in bars and street carts. The pastizzi is making its way abroad as well.
The word pastizzi has multiple meanings in #Malta. Aside from a delicious treat it can refer to a woman’s privates, because of the diamond shape or for describing someone as an idiot, I imagine that’s the mushy pea part. Like our “selling like hot cakes” the Maltese say “selling like pastizzi or”jinbieghu bhall-pastizzi.” Who would have thought it.
Here is my version, of the pastry, not the privates:
1....16 oz ricotta cheese
I.....16.3oz or 1 lb. Pillsbury flaky layers buttermilk biscuit grands
A pinch of salt
*makes 8 pastizzi
Preheat oven to 350*
Mix the egg into the ricotta, add a pinch of salt. Set aside.
On a floured surface, separate the biscuits and roll each to a 4-5” diameter.
(If you want to be more precise, roll into a square like shape to get a proper diamond)
Place a tablespoon of the ricotta In the center, egg wash the rim then fold over and press. I used a fork to press my dough as anything I make like this tends to spill its contents in heat.
Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, give a bit of an egg wash to the top for pizzazz and bake for approximately 20 minutes. You want a brown flaky pastry.
Because I’m an American and think I need sugar, I made half of them with a light dusting of sugar on the egg washed top. Don’t bother. It didn’t make a real impact and to be truthful, this is a very nice savoury snack with coffee, tea or cocoa.
I did not make them with the mashed peas because I didn’t have any but I imagine that peas and a bit of lemon zest would be very nice in these.
I do not know how close these are to the real thing. I imagine pretty far, but for me, they are tasty and if you want me to be more authentic you should invite me on the trip....seriously!
*** I asked my neighbour, Tammy to taste test these beauties, forgetting she is gluten free. She sacrificed herself for the good of this blog and made the following suggestions. It’s bland.... If you add sugar, add It! Put a bit in the cheese and more on the pastry. Makes it more like a danish. Or, keep it savoury and add a garlic butter to the crust or some herbs inside. I guess I’m going to be making these again.
Thanks Tammy...I’ll see you at urgent care😂