Italian Pastries

The Iris Ricotta Fried Pastry

This exceptional and incomparable specialty is the product of recycled day old rolls and with the addition of ricotta cream it becomes a breakfast nosh,a delicious pastry or a fulfilling snack.

In Catania there is one version of iris filled with chocolate cream and one with custard cream.

Iris is easy to prepare: the ingredients are available without difficulties,no special skills are necessary and all the tools needed are in your kitchen. 


SERVING: Makes 6 Iris


For the Filling:

  • ¾ lb. ricotta  
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips or chocolate shavings 
  • 1 tablespoon diced candied citron 
  • Pinch of cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon of zest of orange 
  • 1 drop of vanilla

For the Outer Part:

  • 6 rolls (they can be day old) 
  • 1 lb. of sifted fine Italian breadcrumbs in a wide container 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup of milk 
  • 1 tablespoon of flour 
  • Canola or peanut oil 
  • Deep fryer or a large sauté pan



The Filling

  1. Ahead of time, in a bowl mix well the ricotta and sugar until smooth.
  2. Blend in the chocolate, citron, zest of orange, cinnamon and the vanilla; store in the refrigerator overnight

The Iris

  1. Make a round hole at the bottom of each roll, the size of a quarter; keep the pieces on the side to be used as lids.
  2. Carefully take out the soft part (the muddica) from the inside of the rolls, through the hole.

The Assembly and Frying

  1. Place the milk in a wide bowl.
  2. Fill the rolls with the ricotta cream, place the lids to cover the holes and set the iris in the bowl with the milk, and turn them, to allow the bread to absorb some of the liquid.
  3. In a wide bowl beat the eggs, add the flour and mix until smooth.
  4. Add some milk if batter is too thick.


Source: Sicilian cooking plus




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