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

1.....egg

*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😂

About Us

 

Fearing the empty nest? Don't! Since my children have flown the coup, I have had time to refocus on my passions of travel, art, and writing.  This little blog is a handy tool that helps me share what I have learned with others.

 

I grew up in the States, but have lived a large chunk of my adult life in the UK. I now split my time between London and South Africa as well as chasing the sun around the world. 

 

 When my nest emptied, I began to plan my trips according to my own schedule, indulging in going solo. Once one gets used to traveling solo, it can be a very freeing experience. I seek out interesting, informative and unique experiences, and proffer advice with my network of readers.  I also have a lot of fun!

 

 Spa retreats and personal growth travel are core to what I do.  If there was a master's degree in the art of booking massages, I would be a scholarship student! I also plan to conquer Europe one city break at a time and with all that effort, I need as many beach holidays as possible. 

 

So please enjoy reading my tales of travel. I hope you are encouraged to get on that plane and perhaps have a few giggles along the way.

-Beth

When my large family was quite young, we lived in several international postings. In an age before Google Translate,  I negotiated the grocery stores of foreign countries in search of tasty ingredients. I soon became an expert at discerning information from food labels and also learned to cook healthy, quick meals from local sources. 

 

From this experience, I became quite the foodie, even before 'foodie' was a word. And now as an empty-nester and devotee of food travel networks, I  interpret those old recipes into smaller, even tastier versions. 

 

Being an editor and food/wine travel columnist,  I travel the world sampling indigenous recipes which I share on Old Bag on a Plane. I also love wine!

-Phyl

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As we are all not traveling much, now would be a great time to share favourite travel, wellness, and food stories. We would love to include your best tales on this blog. If you would like to collaborate, please email us here at oldbagonaplane@gmail.com

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