1 1/2 c. flour (add more if needed)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter (cold)
1 c. ice water
3/4 c. melted butter or
1 lb. Ricotta cheese
2 tsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. grated orange peel
For Filling: Combine Ricotta, milk, egg, sugar and vanilla and run through sieve. Add orange peel. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
For Pastry: Sift together flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix in cold butter with fingers. Gradually add enough ice water to hold ingredients together. Toss on lightly floured board and knead about 8 minutes or until dough is smooth. Cover and set aside in cool place 1/2 hour. Divide dough into four even parts. Roll out each piece with rolling pin on lightly floured board, making rectangular sheets about 20-inches long. If necessary, pull and stretch dough with hands while rolling, to make tissue thin and almost transparent. Brush each sheet and place sheets on top of each other. When four sheets are piled up, brush top with melted butter or shortening. Let stand 5 minutes, then roll tightly as for jelly roll. Roll in waxed paper. Set aside 30 minutes or more in refrigerator. With sharp knife, cut roll into 1/2-inch slices, which will resemble narrow rolls of ribbon. Place on board or platter, cover with towel and set aside 15 minutes in cool place.
Place each slice on palm of left hand. With right thumb on center of roll, gently press through slice so that it forms a ribbed cone; make sure that ribs do not become entirely separated. Carefully work around cone with thumb and index finger until it is well shaped, 3-inches across mouth and 1/2-inch at tip. Press tip together. Fill each cone with 1 heaping tablespoonful of filling. Flatten cones slightly between palms of hands; place on lightly buttered cookie sheet; bake in a preheated moderate 375 degrees oven about 30 minutes or until cakes are golden color and crisp and filling is firm. Remove from oven, cool, dust with confectioners sugar. Serve.
Yields about 1 1/2 dozen cakes.
This pastry is one of the most difficult to make. It originated in Naples, centuries ago and since it is time consuming it was usually made in convents.
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