Piccione Pastry's Sfogliatella Riccia: A Flaky, Orange and Ricotta Filled Italian Pastry

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Welcome to Sugar High, a series devoted solely to spotlighting the best ways to sate a sweet tooth in St. Louis. We'll sample the best the city has to offer at restaurants, bakeries and holes-in-the-wall, and provide some insight on how these confections are made along the way.

The sfogliatella riccia at Piccione Pastry. | Photos by Mabel Suen
  • The sfogliatella riccia at Piccione Pastry. | Photos by Mabel Suen

Since opening in 2013, Piccione Pastry (6197 Delmar Boulevard; 314-932-1355) has offered some of the best desserts in town. Six days a week, choose from a variety of Italian-style confections available at its Delmar Loop storefront including ten different kinds of cannolis, cookies by the pound, rum-infused cakes and perhaps most notably, its signature treats made fresh each morning: the sfogliatella riccia.

See also: First Look: Piccione Pastry

Plenty more options available at the pastry counter -- get 'em before they're gone.
  • Plenty more options available at the pastry counter -- get 'em before they're gone.

The flaky, shell-shaped pastry begins with a from-scratch dough made up of flour, water and honey. The dough is stretched to a paper-thin consistency by hand and rolled with butter to create a series of delicate layers; it's a lamination process that takes around a half hour to complete, says pastry chef Sandia Hoormann.

Located in the Delmar Loop.
  • Located in the Delmar Loop.

After chilling in the fridge, slices are cut from the resulting log, and each piece is filled with a mixture of semolina, candied orange and ricotta, then baked until its layers separate into characteristic ridges. The crispy, buttery texture of the unique golden-brown pastry resembles something between phyllo and croissant dough, topped with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

The sfogliatella riccia's subtle sweetness pairs well with some strong espresso. Get some Lavazza Italian coffee to sip alongside this treat, and maybe a box of sweets to go. After one bite of the "sfog," you'll be dreaming of Piccione's carefully handcrafted treats all day long.

Cassata cake, a traditional cannoli, a tri-color cookie and more.
  • Cassata cake, a traditional cannoli, a tri-color cookie and more.

Previously on Sugar High: - The Feasting Fox's Warm Apple Strudel - I Scream Cake's "I Scream Sammys" - LuciAnna's Pastries' Chocolate-Mousse Cheesecake - Spoon Baking Company's Spoon Cookie - Insomnia Cookies' S'mores Deluxe Cookie - Living Room's Peanut-Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookie - Stimulus Baking Company's Pad-Thai Cupcake - La Bonne Bouchée's Strawberry-Mousseline Cake - Pie Oh My's Pumpkin-Maple Pecan Pie - Annie Moons' Banana-Split Muffins - Cyrano's Carrot Cake - Whitebox Eatery's Cheese Pastry - Comet Coffee's Mousse Cakes - Whisk's Apple-Cinnamon "Pop Tartlets" - The London Tea Room's Blueberry-Lemon Cake - Corner 17's Fluffy Ice - The Fountain on Locust's "Banana Bourbon" Sundae - Vinnie's Pinwheel Baklava - Red Fox Baking & Catering's Lemon Tart - Sugarfire Smokehouse's Crack Pie - Russell on Macklind's Coconut Cake - The Kitchen Sink's Sweet Potato Fries - Giovanni's Kitchen's Panna Cotta Trio - Crepes Etc.'s Crepe Cake - Cafe Ventana's Beignets - Frida's Raspberry-Chocolate Avocado Mousse - India Palace's Gulab Jamun - Melt's "Violet Beauregarde" Waffle - Brevan's Patisserie's "Brendan" - Winslow's Home's Chocolate Cake with Espresso Meringue - La Patisserie Chouquette's Eclair - Black Bear Bakery's Raspberry Oat Bar - Gelateria's London Fog Gelato - 4 Seasons Bakery's German Cheesecake - Libertine's "Candy Bar" - Cleveland-Heath's Old Fashioned Cherry Pie - Schlafly Tap Room and Bottleworks' Sticky Toffee Pudding

We're always looking for some sweet ideas. E-mail the author at mabel.suen@riverfronttimes.com

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