Shavuot began as a harvest festival, but it also commemorates the revelation at Sinai and the giving of the Torah. While Shavuot has few rituals associated with it, many Jews stay up all night studying Torah. Other customs include eating dairy foods and reading the Book of Ruth.
In our family we keep Jewish Holiday mostly with traditional cuisine, and for Shavuot, my Mom and aunty Clair always baked a lot of sweet and savory strudels, knishes and pastries filled with dairy products.
I usually bake the Ricotta Pastries for dessert and for an appetizer I like them with scallions or chives, dill, salt and pepper.
The rice adds to the filling some texture, which I like.
- Serves Makes 18 pastries and 2 Gallettes.
- For Ricotta pastries:
• 11/2 cups fresh homemade ricotta or prepared (drained)
• 1/2 cup rice cooked in milk
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1 egg yolk plus 1 whole egg for eggwash
• 3/4 cup raisins
• Zest of 1 orange
• 1 package Puff pastry (2 sheets)
- For the Gallette:
• 2 large russet potatoes (baked) and grated
• 1 packed cup White Sharp Cheddar (shredded
• 1 packed cup Gruyere (shredded)
• 1/2 cup Parmesan (shredded)
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly minced rosemary
• 3 tablespoons sour cream
• 1 egg for the eggwash
• 1 package Puff pastry (2 sheets)
- To make Ricotta Pastries: In a mixing bowl stir ricotta with sugar, mix in egg yolk; then add rice and orange zest. On a lightly floured board roll out one sheet of pastry dough to about 12/14 rectangle.
- Spread half of the ricotta mixture all over the sheet, living 1/2- inch border only in the upper side (from you) of the pastry and brush the border with eggwash. Scatter half of the raisins on top of the ricotta mixture and roll it up tightly like a jellyroll (starting with the longer side).
- Reaped the same process with the second sheet of pastry and ricotta filling. Brash eggwash all over the rolls, transfer them to a large, lightly floured, cutting board, seam side down. Place into freezer for 20-25 minutes to tighten up, (it is easier to cut them).
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- When ready to bake, get the rolls out and cut them in 1-inch slices. Place each slice (standing up) on the cooking sheets, brash the top and some more the sides with eggwash and transfer to the oven.
- Bake for about 25- 30 minutes or until the tops and the sides of the pastries are golden brown. Rotate the sheets half way of the baking from the lower rack to the upper. Cool for 10 minutes, arrange on a platter and dust with powdered sugar.
- To make the Gallette: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. On a lightly floured board, roll out one sheet of pastry dough to about 12/14 rectangle.
- Spread half of the mixture all over the sheet, living 1/2- inch borders all around the pastry and brush them with eggwash. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and mix it with 1/2 a cup of Panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle half of breadcrumbs on top.
- Reaped the same with the second sheet of pastry, potato-cheese filling and bread crumbs. Bake for about 25- 30 minutes or until the tops and the sides of the pastries are golden brown.
- Rotate the sheets half way of the baking time from the lower rack to the upper. Cool to room temperature, cut into triangle slices. Serve with sour cream mixed with chives, freshly chopped dill, some salt and a pinch or more of cayenne pepper.