Pasticciotti – Italian Custard Pies are simply delicious. Pasticciotti (singular pasticciotto) can be filled with Italian custard cream or ricotta. For this recipe, I use a lovely lemon and vanilla custard.
Traditionally originating from the Puglia region of Italy, the pastry for pasticciotti is traditionally made with lard, although butter is commonly used nowadays. For my recipe I use lard, resulting in a very tender pastry.
Although it’s a simple combination of pastry and custard, the process takes some time as the custard needs to cool before use. At the same time hilling the pastry makes it easier to work with. The pasticciotti have an oval shape, typically in moulds about 10.5cm in length and 2/5 cm in depth. If these moulds aren’t available, alternatives can be fashioned from aluminium foil tins. A muffin tin can also be used to make pasticiotti, and both versions work well.
The process is quite straightforward. Prepare the lemon and vanilla custard, then allow it to cool. Make and roll out the pastry. Chill that too. Line the pans with pastry. Fill the pastry with custard, and top with more pastry. After brushing with egg white, bake the pastries for about 14 minutes.
The pastries are very tender so let them cool for a good while in the pans. Then transfer them to a wire rack. Once completely cool, they are ready to enjoy.
The pasticciotti turned out very well indeed. The pastry was tender, and the custard was silky smooth. The subtle yet delightful lemon and vanilla flavours of the custard went so well with the pastry. These pastries are a perfect little treat well worth the effort to make.
Another highly recommended recipe is Ricciarelli – Italian Almond Cookies.
Pasticciotti – Italian Custard PiesCourse: Cakes, Desserts, Pies, TartsCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium
500ml(2 cups + 4 tsp) whole milk
4 medium egg yolks(large in USA)
120g(1/2 cup+ 1 1/2 tbsp) caster sugar
48g(6 tbsp) rice starch(or potato starch, or cornflour)
Lemon peel from one lemon
1 vanilla bean
250g(1 2/3 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
125g(8 1/2 tbsp) lard(or softened butter)
125g(1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) caster sugar
4g(1 tsp) baking powder
1 medium egg(large in USA)
grated zest from one lemon
1 beaten egg white
- Slice the vanilla bean along its’ length and scrape out the seeds.
- Place the milk, vanilla bean and seeds and the lemon peel into a saucepan and heat it until just about to boil.
- Place the egg yolks and sugar into a large bowl and whisk them until fully combined into a pale and smooth mixture.
- Add the rice starch and whisk to fully combine.
- Whisking all the time add a little of the hot milkinto the egg mixture to temper it.
- Strain the remaining milk and add it to the tempered mixture, whisking thoroughly.
- Pour the custard mixture back into the saucepan and place it back on the heat, whisking all the time.
- When the custard has thickened and the temperature has reached about 82C/180F remove it from the heat.
- Put the custard into a dish and press some plastic wrap down onto the surface, then allow it to cool completely.
- In a large bowl cream the lard and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and whisk it in to combine.
- Whisk in the grated zest as well.
- Mix the baking powder into the flour and add that to the bowl.
- Stir the mixture together until it clumps into a dough.
- Tip the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and squeeze it together into a smooth paste.
- Cover it with more parchment paper and roll it out to a rectangle about 14 inches(35cm) by 12 inches(30 cm).
- Chill the. pastry for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/430F.
- Cut out ovals of pastry large enough to fill your moulds, or cut out 10cm discs if using a muffin pan.
- Carefully line the moulds or greased muffin cups, removing any excess around the rim.
- Roll out the pastry scraps to use as the top of each pasticciotto, chill for a few minutes.
- Place the custard into a piping bag and pipe it into the pastry line moulds.
- Cut out the pastry to cover the moulds, or 7cm discs for muffin cups.
- Cover the top of the pastry and custard with the tops and press down around the edge, removing excess dough.
- Brush the top of each pastry with beaten egg white.
- Bake the pasticciotti for 14 minutes then allow them to cool in the pans for at least 30 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.