A Sicilian dessert from the town of Catania to commemorate its patron saint, Saint Agatha, a third century Christian martyr. Before her martyrdom, her breasts were cut off in punishment for rejecting the advances of the Governor Quintianus. Because of this, she is traditionally depicted in paintings holding a plate of her breasts. The dessert was made to resemble this. This version of the minne di sant’Agata is made with a short crust shell, filled with ricotta, chocolate chips, and candied fruit, glazed with icing, and topped with a candied cherry.
Sicilian Breasts of St. Agatha / Minne di sant’AgataCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Intermediate
A short crust pastry filled with ricotta, chocolate chips, and candied oranges.
250 grams all-purpose flour (2 cups)
70 grams powdered sugar
75 grams unsalted butter
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
A couple drops vanilla extract or 1 packet vanilla sugar
500 grams whole milk ricotta, measured after it has drained for about 1-2 hours, then sieved through a strainer (16oz)
70 grams granulated sugar
80 grams candied fruit (I used orange peel)
80 grams dark, mini chocolate chips, or dark chocolate that has been chopped into small pieces
- Glaze & Decoration
1 egg white (leftover from the egg yolk in the dough)
Pinch of salt
40 grams powdered (icing) sugar
Juice of one lemon (add 1 tbsp at a time)
12 candied cherries
- Special Equipment
Half sphere silicon baking mold (see below recipe card for a link to one)
Circular cookie cutter slightly larger than the perimeter of the sphere mold
Circular cookie cutter the same size as the perimeter of the sphere mold
- To a food processor, add the flour and sugar and pulse a couple of times to combine. Then add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like wet sand. Add the egg and egg yolk and a couple of drops of vanilla and pulse until it forms a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Combine the drained ricotta and sugar and whisk together until smooth. Fold in the chocolate and candied fruit. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
- Roll out the chilled dough until it is only a couple of millimeters thick. Cut out 12 bottom circles for the mold using the larger cookie cutter. Press the circles of dough into the mold to create a smooth half sphere.
- Pipe the filling into the centers of the mold. You can use a ziploc bag with one of the corners snipped off for a piping bag.
- With the remaining dough, cut out 12 smaller circles to fit on top of each pastry. Before placing on top of the pastry, brush the edges of the underside of each circle with either water or egg white to help seal the pastry together.
- Place silicone mold on a baking sheet and bake in a 180C/350F preheated oven for 45 minutes. Cool on a rack when done. Let come to room temperature before icing them.
- Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, beat one egg white and one pinch of salt until it has reached soft peaks. Then beat in the powdered sugar and lemon juice. Add the lemon juice 1 tbsp at a time until you’ve reached the desired consistency. The icing should be thin enough to pour but thick enough to create a white layer over the pastry. The icing I made in the video was a little too thin. Aim for something slightly thicker than that.
- Pour the icing over each pastry, covering all of the sides. It should leave a white glaze over each pastry. Top each glazed pastry with a candied cherry.
- Refrigerate for about an hour to let the glaze harden. Serve and enjoy. Buon appetito!
Silicone Mold (affiliate links below)
Circular Cookie Cutters