Judith's Cheese Pastries- dairy
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into pieces
1 cup farmers cheese or well-drained ricotta cheese (see
2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces farmer cheese or well-drained ricotta cheese (see
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Unsalted butter, melted (about 2-4 tablespoons)
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen pastries.
To prepare the dough: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt,
sugar and baking powder. Cut in the butter to make a crumbly
Blend in the cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla until a
soft dough forms. Wrap and chill 1 to 3 hours or overnight. If using
a food processor, follow the same instructions but use the pulse
To prepare the filling: In a large bowl, cream the cream cheese,
farmer or ricotta cheese and sugar until blended.
Add in the egg, salt, vanilla and flour to make a thick filling.
Chill if not using right away.
To finish: Divide the chilled dough in half and roll each into a
rectangle, 12 inches by 8 or 10 inches.
Brush each section with melted butter and spread half of the cheese
filling on each portion, leaving a 1-inch border all around.
Roll up each section halfway and then cut away from the rest of the
dough. Then roll up the remaining section. Repeat with the other
large rectangle (you will have four rolls in the end). Brush the top
of each roll with melted butter.
Chill 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large sheet with
parchment paper. Place the pastries on the baking sheet and bake
until golden, about 25-30 minutes.
Cool, then dust them with confectioners' sugar. Slice into desired
sizes and serve warm with sour cream or plain as tea pastries.
Cook's note: Drain the ricotta by placing it in a colander
lined with cheesecloth or several layers of coffee filters.
Allow to drain at least 24 hours; the cheese will be thick.
The following explanation accompanies this Marcy Goldman recipe:
"We all know that part of Hanukah. Oil-fried latkes are the standard
symbol of the holiday. But did you know cheese dishes are also
"According to the Apocrypha, Judith, a Jewish woman of noteworthy
valor, requested to dine with the Holofernes, an enemy general.
Demure yet seductive, Judith plied the powerful soldier with cheese
dishes, the better to bring on thirst, which he in turn quenched
with copious goblets of wine. When he passed out, she promptly slew
him and thereby averted the disaster that would have been directed
toward her people. Judith's valor is said to have inspired Judah the
Maccabee and his followers.
"In Judith's honor, specialty cheese dishes, such as cheese latkes
and blintzes are as welcome and appropriate as potato pancakes, and
aptly celebrate the Festival of Light."
Source: "Hanukkah Treats Owe a Debt to One Woman" Marcy Goldman