By Mabel Suen
March 17, 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.