Ciao News24/680 Readers –
Bringing a little culture back from Puglia. A little more technical than usual, but actually pretty easy and the results are amazing.
This is a traditional dessert we discovered in the city of Lecce, Puglia. This version is filled with almond-flavored custard. Although other fillings are popular throughout Italy, including chocolate, pistachio or ricotta. These cakes can be found in bakeries, bars, coffee shops, and restaurants.
According to Wikipedia, “the creation of pasticciotti is credited to Andrea Ascalone, a chef in the town of Galatina in Lecce, who in 1745 used ingredients left over from full-sized tortas to create a smaller cake. The name pasticciotto allegedly comes from Ascalone himself regarding his creation as a pasticcio, or “mishap.”
We created these in our “Tastes of Puglia” demo and lunch this week and they were a hit. The molds I found in a flea market in Paris, but they are available at most kitchenware stores.
Give them a try for a special treat!
– Chef Charlie
(Traditional Pastry from Lecce, Puglia)
For the Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces unsalted butter
2 ounces Crisco vegetable shortening
1/4 cup milk
For the Filling:
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg, beaten, for an egg wash
To Make the Custard:
• Sift the cornstarch and sugar then put in a saucepan.
• Add the milk and heavy cream and whisk lightly until you obtain a smooth mixture.
• Whisk in the egg, then heat on medium until custard thickens.
• Mix in the butter and almond extract. Remove from heat and cover custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming while it cools.
To Make the Pastry:
• In a food processor add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pulse until all mixed.
• Add the butter and Crisco then pulse until mixture looks like crumbly cornmeal.
• Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix until dough starts to form a ball.
• Turn out dough onto a board and lightly work dough until its smooth.
• Divide dough into two flattened rounds, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
• Starting with the first piece of dough, place it onto a floured board. Roll it out to ¼-inch thick.
• Using a 3-inch pastry cutter or glass, cut out 12 rounds.
• Place each round into the mold and press into mold to remove all air.
• Add about 2 tablespoons of the custard to each of the molds.
• Cover each with a 3-inch round of dough.
• Let chill in refrigerator for an hour or overnight.
• Brush tops with egg wash, then bake at 425°F for 15 -18 minutes.
How many of those can you fit in your mouth at the same time? I don’t bake but one of my childhood memories was of my mother and sister sifting powdered sugar over their baked treats – she always told us she was making it snow!
Just one! Thanks for the memories!
Sounds so good. If I can only get the kids to help!
Still working my way through the soup recipes. I was going to cook this weekend but I think it’s going to be too hot! These are fun…..
I like that you give the history behind the food! Inquiring minds wonder about these things!!!!
I’ve always liked that cooking involves history, math, art, and science – all at once!