I’m not very good with non-critical deadlines. Taxes, work, all good. But I think I have missed entering the Pillsbury Bakeoff about ten times, and last time around I didn’t check the time of day that entries closed and, busy checking my recipe for the nth time, missed it by 11 minutes. So, it should not come as a surprise that I missed the deadline for Food52’s ricotta recipe contest. I was going to test and enter this recipe yesterday, but I got busy with other things and decided I would do it today. Oh well, we have some crispy oozy turnovers to enjoy now, something I wouldn’t have thought of without Food52’s prompt. I smeared some fresh ricotta cheese onto stacked leaves of filo, layered with melted butter and a pinch of sugar, and fanned some pears poached in vanilla syrup on top. They’re finished with powdered sugar and a little fresh grated nutmeg. Simple, sweetsavory, and satisfying. Breakfast looks like a happy prospect this morning!
Poached Pear & Ricotta Turnovers
Yield: 4 turnovers, 4 to 8 servings
1 c. sugar, plus a few pinches for the filo
1 c. water
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped of its seeds
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼ “ slices
10 sheets filo dough
3 T. melted butter
1 c. fresh ricotta cheese (I love Shepherds’ Way Farms. If you can get your hands on some, you’re in for a spectacular treat.)
a pinch of salt
a little fresh grated nutmeg
a little powdered sugar
- Thaw the filo in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the sugar, water, and the vanilla bean seeds and pod into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Add the pears and simmer gently until the pears are nearly tender. The time will depend upon the ripeness of the pears you choose.
- Meanwhile, roll out the filo leaves on your countertop and cover them with a barely damp clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
- Take one leaf of filo and drizzle it with a touch of melted butter. Spread it gently with a pastry brush and sprinkle the dough with a tiny pinch of sugar.
- Repeat this process until you have a five-leaf stack of filo, stacking each leaf onto the next.
- Repeat this entire process to make another stack of five sheets.
- Cut both stacks of filo in half into two equal rectangles. You will have four rectangles total to fill.
- Smear ¼ c. of ricotta on each stack of filo, making a triangle in the corner, and sprinkle on a little pinch of salt and some fresh grated nutmeg.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer ½ of a pear to each, fanning out the pears.
- Fold the filo into a triangle, then again, and again, so that you have a little triangle-shaped pouch. Trim any excess filo with a sharp knife.
- Transfer the turnovers to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Brush the top of each turnover with melted butter and sprinkle with a little pinch of sugar.
- Bake the turnovers for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crisp.
- Dust with powdered sugar and a little fresh grated nutmeg.