Try making this South Italian pastry at home! Pasticciotto (Italian Cream Filled Pastry) ticks all the boxes for what a perfect pastry should be – sweet, sumptuous and irresistible. Enjoy it for breakfast, snack or dessert!
If there’s such a thing as ‘comfort pastry’, that’s pasticciotto for me. Sweet, creamy and with a bit of crispiness from the pastry, what more could you ask for?
I discovered this delight when we went to Puglia in summer of 2016. It was in the southern part of Puglia, a city called Lecce, where this pastry is as ubiquitous as orecchiette (the region’s pasta).
The locals normally eat them for breakfast, but I’ve also met some who would heat them up after dinner and have them for dessert. Still as delicious as they were in the morning. 🙂
HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN CREAM FILLED PASTRY (PASTICCIOTTO)
CAN I USE ANY KIND OF PASTRY DOUGH FOR THIS ITALIAN CREAM FILLED PASTRY?
If you already have your favorite pastry dough, then go ahead and use that one.
But if you are still looking for one, give my Pasta Frolla recipe a try. It’s not too sweet, so adding the pastry cream to it will give you a nicely balanced sweetness in every bite.
I DON’T HAVE THE PASTICCIOTTO MOLD, CAN I USE OTHER BAKING TINS FOR THESE CREAM FILLED PASTRY?
If you don’t have pasticciotto molds, you can use muffin or mini-tart tins. I tried looking for them in Amazon, but they don’t have them either. I just got lucky that my mother-in-law gave them to me. 🙂
CAN I ADD VANILLA IN THE PASTRY CREAM?
You sure can. Vanilla extract is fine, but using vanilla pods is even better. There was even a time that I added some amaretto in the cream – the result was surprisingly good.
So, feel free to replace the lemon zest with any liquor you want in the pastry cream.
WHAT GOES WELL WITH PASTICCIOTTO?
Coffee. I always have mine with an espresso (and I would have it no other way 😉 ).
These treats are best served warm and heating them up in the microwave for a few seconds will always do the trick. Be careful when eating them though, hot pastry cream CAN burn! Enjoy! 🙂
FOR OTHER SOUTH ITALIAN DESSERTS OR SNACKS, CHECK OUT MY OTHER POSTS –
OR IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR MORE RECIPES FROM PUGLIA, CHECK OUT THESE POSTS –
VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN CREAM FILLED PASTRY (PASTICCIOTTO)
- 1 single crust pastry dough (or pasta frolla)
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 lemon, grated zest
- 2 large eggs, separated (yolks for the cream and whites for brushing the pastry)
Heat up milk on a small to medium saucepan.
In a medium bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and lemon zest. Use a whisk to mix.
Slowly pour the heated milk on the egg mixture while constantly whisking the mixture. Do not pour the milk all at one, or you might end up cooking the eggs.
Once the heated milk and the egg mixture has been combined, pour the mixture back to the saucepan and bring to a slow boil, or until it has thickened to your desired cream consistency. Do not stop whisking until this point.
Set pastry cream aside to cool.
Preheat up the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Roll up the pastry dough and place on the tins. Leave some pastry dough hanging out on the side of the tins, you will be using this part later for sealing the pastry. Prepare (cut out) the pastry dough for covering the top of each tin as well.
Use a spoon to add pastry cream on each tin. Try not to put more than the top of the tin.
Cover each tin with the rest of the prepared pastry dough. Fold the top pastry under the lower pastry to seal the sides and to ensure that no custard will seep through.
Brush top with egg whites.
Place in the oven for 20 to 25 mins or until they turned golden.
Serve. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
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