Imagine a Cheesecake that is light and fluffy, wrapped in a crunchy, buttery, crust.
That is a Soffione, a typical dessert from Abruzzo. One could take the same dessert and make minis, which is what I did . I used simple muffin tins.
The name Soffione means blow, to describe the incredible airiness of the batter once cooked. Also, what sets this dessert apart is the crust. While American shortbread uses cold butter, this Italian “short pastry” uses creamed butter, and not very much either!
Well, there is only one way of knowing if you will like this dessert: bake it!
Really easy, not too sweet, and delicious with a cup of tea.
12 1 piece each
For the Crust
Flour (Cups) 2 tazze
Sugar granulated (Or 4 T powder sugar) 4 cucchiai
Eggs (Large) 2
Pinch of Kosher salt (or a pinch of fine sea salt) 1 pizzico
Vegetable oil (Or 2 T unsalted butter, softened) 2 cucchiai
For the Filling
8 oz Ricotta (Whole Milk) 1/2 l
Eggs (Large, SEPARATED) 2
Sugar, granulated (or 2 T powder sugar) 3 cucchiai
Lemon Zest (Freshly grated) 1
Vanilla (1 T, extract) 1 cucchiaio
Salt, kosher (a pinch) 1 pizzico
Cornstarch (Or 1 T Potato Starch) 1 cucchiaio
For the Crust Dough:
Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt) and form a mountain. Working on a flat surface, mound flour mixture with a well in the center. Inside such well, crack the eggs and add the oil. Using a fork incorporate the dry ingredients into the liquid ones. Half the way through switch over to your hands. Knead until all the ingredients have come together to form a mass. Knead for a few minutes, until smooth.
Cover the dough and refrigerate it while you prepare the filling.
In a large bowl, whisk together the Ricotta, the egg yolks and granulated sugar and starch. Add the lemon zest and a pinch of salt, the vanilla. Incorporate until smooth.
In another bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold it into the cheese mixture a bit at a time.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CHEESECAKE
Pre heat oven to 350 convection or 375 static
Roll out the crust to about 2 mm thin. I used the PASTA MACHINE (no shame in my game!) to setting nbr 3.
Cut 12 (4 inch) squares and re knead/roll the dough if needed, using just a bit of flour.
Place the squares into the 12 cavities of a muffin tin (no liners) press well into the bottom and let the sides hang.
Fill the cavities with the batter, dividing it equally.
Gently fold back in the edges / corners of the dough.
Place in the pre heated oven.
Bake for about 30 minutes until puffy and golden. Cool 10 minutes before extracting from the pan. A simple twist of the pastry shall do it.
Dust with powder sugar before serving.