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Recipe: the Sfuagghiu from Polizzi Generosa, Palermo

Friday 04 may 2018

A delicious baked cake made with fresh Sicilian cheese, pumpkin, cinnamon and chocolate that finds its origins in the skilled hands of some Benedictine nuns in 1600

Recipe: the Sfuagghiu from Polizzi Generosa, Palermo

The Sfuagghiu (or Sfoglio delle Madonie) is a typical dessert of the village of Polizzi Generosa with a strong and rich taste. Contrary to what can be guessed from the name, the Sfoglio is not a puff pastry cake but is more like a baked cassata, a cake of a soft paste with a heart made from a typical cheese. In fact, at the base of this dessert we find the tuma, a fresh and unsalted sheep's cheese that, although it may seem unusual the presence of a similar cheese in a sweet, it seems that at the time of the creation of this dessert was instead a widespread practice. The Sfuagghiu was created around 1600 by the Benedictine nuns of the Santa Margherita convent, founded by Queen Elizabeth of Aragon in the district of San Peri, then transferred to the village. Every end of July, in the village, is celebrated a festival dedicated to this delicious dessert accompanied by guided tours and falconry performances. To protect the typicality of this cake, the pastry chefs have set up a consortium for the protection and enhancement of the Sfoglio, which can be tasted at its best with Pantelleria's Moscato sparkling wine.


For 8 persons

  • 500g of 00 flour
  • 125gr of lard
  • 200g of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • A spoonful of honey
  • ½ glass of milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 500gr of fresh tuma
  • 100g of dark chocolate
  • 100g of candied pumpkin
  • Cinnamon powder


Let's begin by kneading the flour with sugar, lard, the two yolks (preserving the egg whites), honey, milk and a pinch of salt without working too much the dough which must be homogeneous and not too soft. We obtain a ball from the dough that we leave to rest in the fridge, wrapped in cloth, for a quarter of an hour.

Meanwhile, whisk the two preserved egg whites and mix them with the grated tuma (poured to disperse the water), the chocolate into cubes, candied pumpkin and a teaspoon of cinnamon.

Let's take back the dough that was resting in the fridge and divide it into two parts, one bigger and one smaller. Spread the largest part in a sheet of about one centimeter thick and use it to coat the bottom and sides of an oiled cake tray. Pour the filling and cover everything with the smallest part of the dough, also rolled out the same thickness as the previous one. Bake at 180° for half an hour, then let's cool our Sfuagghiu and dust the surface with icing sugar and cinnamon.

...Enjoy your meal

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