Easy weekend baking… Filo Cigars with Ricotta and Pistachio

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Why buy ready made sweets? Why order cakes with colorings and enhancers ? Did you know that wastage is not affordable in commercial baking and artifical raising enhancers guarantee successful beautiful cakes every time, without fail ?

Did you also know that old fashioned baking is very trendy today ? !!

This is a wonderful recipe for anyone in a rush, for all those on the move and looking forward to the weekend which is nearly with us again. I lived in Cyprus for many years, another beautiful Mediterranean island towards the east, and we used filo all the time in many different ways. It is a pastry that is lighter than other pastries and it makes any dish look beautiful. It is also incorrect to think that you will need lots of butter to achieve the crispiness. I only use a minimal brushing on the top of these cigars just before they go into the oven and that is all you will need. These cigars are versatile, you can literally add the fillings that you prefer. They are a good teatime treat or can be served as a dessert. One of my readers asked me to make a suggestion how to use strawberries and filo yesterday. The local strawberries at the moment are too fleshy and full-of-flavor to ruin with cooking and I think the combination of a strawberry garnish with these filo cigars will be divine. And If you don’t usually do any baking, this recipe is a very good one to start with..

You will need:

250g ricotta
2 tablespoons icing sugar or 1 tablespoon honey
150g pistachios, ground, I have a grinder but you can also put them in the food processor
1 packet filo pastry or you can also use wonton wrappers which is even quicker
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
Flaked almonds, i brown them slightly in a dry non stick pan , no need to add oil
powdered sugar for dusting

You will also need a pastry brush

To make cigars, preheat oven to 200C.
Line an oven tray with baking paper.
Process pistachios in food processor until crushed, they will not be as fine as mine are but i actually love the texture in the crunch.
Add the ricotta into the blender and then the powdered sugar or honey. Finally add the egg and you should end up with a smooth paste.
Place the olive oil in a bowl and whisk it until it is smooth.
Cut filo sheet into quarters. if you are using won ton wrappers you will need to do any cutting.
Put a teaspoon of the ricotta mix near the tip of the square as you are going to roll it diagonally. The edges of the pastry this way are exposed and it gives a more appealing finish.
Roll at a diagonal angle into a cigar shape.
Brush the top with the butter and oil mixture, always lightly.
Bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes
Take out of the oven and leave to cool
Dust with some powdered sugar through a fine sieve. Do not overdo it.
Sprinkle some lightly roasted flaked almonds on top.

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