Iris Breakfast Pastry
In Palermo, the rosticcerie offer
panelli, rice balls, vasteddi, sfincione,
fried vegetables and fish, potatoes croquettes and in the morning ravazzate,
rizzuoli and the iris or as it is
called in dialect the ines; this Palermitana specialty, now available all over the island, originally was
offered only in Palermo.
This exceptional and incomparable
specialty is the product of recycled day
old rolls and with the addition of ricotta cream it becomes a breakfast nosh,
a delicious pastry or a fulfilling
In Catania there is one version of iris filled with chocolate cream and
with custard cream.
Iris is easy to prepare: the ingredients are available without
no special skills are necessary and all the tools needed are in your
To make 6
· ¾ lb. ricotta
· 2 tablespoons of
· 1 tablespoon
chocolate chips or chocolate shavings
· 1 tablespoon diced
· Pinch of
· 1 teaspoon of zest
1 drop of
For the Outer Part
· 6 rolls (they can
be day old)
· 1 lb. of sifted
fine Italian breadcrumbs in a wide container
· 1 cup of
· 1 tablespoon of
· Canola or peanut
· Deep fryer or a
large sauté pan
Ahead of time, in a bowl mix well the ricotta and sugar until smooth.
in the chocolate, citron, zest of orange, cinnamon and the vanilla; store
the refrigerator overnight.
Make a round hole at the bottom of each roll, the size of a quarter;
the pieces on the side to be used as lids.
Carefully take out the soft part (the muddica) from the inside of the
through the hole.
The Assembly and
Place the milk in a wide bowl.
Fill the rolls with the ricotta cream, place the lids to cover the holes
set the iris in the bowl with the milk, and turn them, to allow the bread
absorb some of the liquid.
In a wide bowl beat the eggs, add the flour and mix until smooth. Add some milk
Batter is too
Remove the iris from the milk bowl and place on a tray to allow dripping
a few minutes.
Place the iris into the egg mixture, one at a time.
Remove from egg mixture, let the egg
mixture drip for a few seconds, and then place them in the container with the breadcrumbs.
Squeeze the breadcrumbs into the iris and continue rolling it in your
gently compact the breadcrumbs and reshape it into a ball. Set the breaded
iris into a pan or dish. Once the iris have been battered and breaded,
them on to the fryer.
For frying the iris use your preferred
oil. We suggest canola or peanut oil.
If using a deep fryer, heat oil at 350 degrees, place iris in basket and
them until golden brown. Remove from oil and dry on paper towels.
If using a pan, at a medium heat, in a heavy, large sauté pan put in 2 ½
inches of oil and warm it to 350 degrees, or until is hot but before it
reaches the smoking point.
Very carefully lower the iris into the oil, a few at a time, turning and
slowly frying them on all side, until golden brown.
With a slotted spoon, remove from oil and dry on paper towels.
Serve warm with cappuccino or your preferred beverage.