Maltese Pastizzi are the Maltese version of an empanada, hot pocket, calzone, etc. You get the picture. Dough on the outside and a filling of your choice on the inside. The most popular fillings are ricotta cheese (called pastizzi tal-irkotta) , curried ground beef with peas, or curried peas (called pastizzi tal-piżelli).
Today I am going to show you how to make the Ricotta Pastizzi.
I really took advantage of my Uncle Willie’s skills while he visited. After making me the Easter Pie, he got to work on the maltese pastizzi dough. As the dough rested, my parents flew in from Maryland. I grabbed them from the airport which was the first time I had seen them since they had spent a few months visiting family in Malta.
So now my house was full. My husband and children, my uncle and cousin, and my mom and dad. The record player was turned on, bottles of wine were popped, souvineers from Malta shared, and singing and cooking took over.
They say love should be the secret ingredient in every recipe. This video, well, I just love it! Here they are singing a silly Maltese folk song.
Okay! Are you in the spirit now?
Here is how to make maltese pastizzi tal-irkotta or ricotta pastizzi.
For the dough all you need is oil, salt, all purpose flour, and ice cold water.
After mixing your ingredients, your dough should look like this. You will know that you are done mixing when the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl and is elastic. Take it out of the bowl and rub it sparingly with Crisco. Let the dough sit for 15 minutes and then put it into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
When the dough is ready to be worked. Lay it on a cold counter top. Because the dough has been rubbed with Crisco, you won’t need to flour your surface. Cut the dough in half and work one half first. You will want to stretch and roll your dough into a rectangle.
A really long rectangle and very thin. To the point that it becomes see through.
Then rub down again with Crisco.
Now you roll the dough. This is what give the dough it’s flakiness. Now some people cheat and just use filo dough. It’s not the same, but it works in a pinch.
See how tightly he starts the roll.
Once it is rolled. Set aside and roll the second half of the dough you had set aside into a rectangle.
You will then set your rolled up dough on top of your new rectangle at it’s edge.
And then roll that together.
Lay it in a coil.
Now freeze it until almost hard. This makes it easier to cut and work with in a bit.
Now for the ricotta filling.
You will mix 30 ounces of ricotta with Parmesan cheese, a bit of shredded mozzarella, and a sprinkle of parsley, salt and pepper.
Now it’s time for assembly.
First cut a slice of your dough.
Now remember all that rolling you did. This is why. Look at all of the thin beautiful layers.
Take your slice of your dough and place it between two pieces of plastic wrap. You will want to see the interior layers facing up.
Roll into a circle shape. Then lay across your hand, like so, and place a dollop of filling in the center.
Then you will fold one side over until it meets the edge of the other side.
Lay onto a cookie sheet and and seal.
At this point you have two options. Bake and eat now or freeze for later. If you choose to freeze, place cookie sheet in freezer until they are frozen thoroughly and then put in a freezer bag. You can bake them later.
If you want to bake now. Place the pastizzi in at 350 f for about 20 minutes or until brown.