Pardule (or "Pardulas"to pluralize) is a traditional Sardinian sweet; something like a tiny cheesecake but light and airy; they taste of saffron, lemon and orange. They are not hard to make but will take some practice to perfect.
I was taught how to make Pardule while I was doing a project in Sardinia which incorporated traditional Sardinian Sweets and art installation: http://futurefantasmi.weebly.com/
Pardule is my favorite of all of the sweets I learned because of their delicate flavors which are not overwhelmed by sweetness.
The ingredients you will need to make Pardulas are:
· 1 Kilogram of Ricotta
· ½ Kilogram of flour
· 300 Grams of sugar
· 1 Gram of saffron
· 16 Grams of baking powder
· 32 Grams of vanilla flavor
· 3 Eggs
· 1 Tablespoon of butter
· Zest of 1 lemon
· Zest of 2 Oranges
· Liquor to taste (about 6 tablespoons) – Aquavita or Brandy
*2 days before cooking, strain the liquid out of the ricotta by placing it in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and then placing a small plate on the ricotta with a weight on it. Discard the liquid which runs out of the ricotta.
**Ricotta made from sheep's milk is best but you can use Ricotta from a cow.
Step 1: Make the Pastry:
- Heat 1c of water and 2tbsp of sugar over medium heat until the water is just warmer than skin temperature.
- Place 350g of flour in a greased bowl with as much of the sugar/water required in order to gather the dough into one mass. Work until the dough just comes together.
- Add 1tbsp of egg white, aquavita or brandy and butter.
- Work the dough by rolling and streaching.
- Place in a bag to rest while you prepare the filling.
Step 2: Make the Filling:
- Add saffron to the 3tbsp of your liquor
- Place ricotta in a mixing bowl with 150g of flour, sugar, 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, zest, vanilla and baking powder.
- Combine ingredients by hand until smooth and uniform in texture.
- Add the saffron/liquor to the mixture and combine until smooth.
Step 3: Roll Out Your Dough:
- Take a tennis-ball size piece of the pastry dough and roll until it is 2mm thick and then fold lengthwise.
- Repeat this 5x with the same piece of dough and then cut circles out of the dough approximately 8cm in diameter and 1.5-2mm thick.
- Repeat this process until all the dough is used. Make sure to place your dough on parchment paper or another non-stick surface while you proceed to the next step.
Step 4: Roll Up Some Balls:
- Rub some of the liquor over your hands and take a golf-ball sized piece of your filling and roll it into a ball.
- Place that ball into the center of one of the pastry circles.
- Fold the sides of the pastry around the filling ball, crimping at regular intervals.
- Place the uncooked-Pardule on a baking sheet (greased, with parchment paper or a silicone mat) and repeat #1-#4 until you have used all of the filling.
- Brush the filling with a beaten egg yolk mixed with about 1tbsp of water.
Step 5: Bake!
- Bake at 180°c/355°f for about 30 minutes or until the filling starts to mushroom-top over the pastry of the pardule and the tops turn golden brown and shiny. You may add more egg wash after the first 15 minutes in the oven if the Pardulas are not as glossy as you would like.
Step 6: Buon Appetito!
If you want to try other traditional Sardinian recipes, visit this site: http://futurefantasmi.weebly.com/