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Let’s discover a dessert of Sicilian origins: iris with ricotta

Sweet iris

The sweet iris is a typical Sicilian recipe consisting of a leavened dough stuffed with ricotta cream, breaded and fried.

The Sicilian sweet iris is one of the traditional Italian food products (PAT). Especially typical of the city of Palermo, it is a sweet leavened product that resembles the classic donut in shape. To the detriment of this, it is mainly consumed as street food while it is still hot and, with its ricotta-based filling, conquers everyone at the first taste. The original recipe was invented by a Palermitan pastry chef, Antonio Lo Verso , on the occasion of the premiere at the opera of Mascagni Iris.

The success was so resounding that even the man changed the name of his restaurant in via Roma 148 which since then has been the reference point of the city for all those who want to try the typical Sicilian sweet iris. The peculiarity of the recipe, however, lies in the fact that it is not a simple fried iris, but a breaded iris ! Once the dough is prepared and stuffed with ricotta, it is sautéed in eggs and breadcrumbs and then fried. The result is a very special dessert, a typical product that you can only taste in Palermo.

Sweet iris
Sweet iris

How to prepare the sweet iris recipe

  1. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl and pour in the warm milk in which you have dissolved the yeast. Incorporate also 1 egg and, once absorbed, the butter in chunks.
  2. Work the dough vigorously on the pastry board then put it to rise in the oven with the light on for 4 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, mix ricotta and powdered sugar to obtain a cream and let it rest in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  4. Once the dough has risen, divide it into 8 equal parts and roll them out to form a disk about half a centimeter thick.
  5. Put a spoonful of filling in the center and close, sealing well to form a ball.
  6. Beat the eggs in a dish, wet the irises and then pass them in the breadcrumbs.
  7. Fry them in abundant oil 2 at a time for at least 7 minutes.
  8. Drain them with a slotted spoon and pass them on kitchen paper before serving.

Enjoy the freshly made Sicilian iris when it is still hot and, if you are in the mood for fried food, then try the cannoli too: you will not regret it!


The Sicilian iris with ricotta should be enjoyed at the moment. However, if you have any leftovers, keep them in the refrigerator for up to a couple of days.

Riproduzione riservata © - WT

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