January 13, 2021
There's a saying in Italy. "Molise non esiste." Molise doesn't exist. It's a running joke among Italians to pretend Molise doesn't exists due to its…Read This Post
What the croissant is to France, the pasticciotto is to Puglia, something you’ll learn quickly during an Italy cooking vacation to the region. The pastry of Puglia is mostly found in Lecce, but the delicate dish is available in much of the area.
It’s said to put you in a good mood with its sweet cream or custard center, whether you enjoy it with a cappuccino or another regional drink, latte di mandorla, but what Italian dessert doesn’t? Plus, considering George Clooney reportedly served it at his wedding to his guests, you know it’s got to be good.
Check out the video, or scroll down for the recipe!
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Cook method: Bake
1. Start by making the dough. To do this, sift together the flour with the baking powder, sugar, and salt in a big bowl.
2. Using a pastry blender, add in the vegetable shortening, and blend until the mixture looks like corn meal. (You can also use a food processor for this part.
3. Using your hands, add vanilla, milk, and egg. Now form the dough into a smooth ball. Then wrap the dough in plastic and put to the side in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
4. Next, on to the filling! In a medium saucepan, quickly whisk together the sugar and cornstarch; this will stop the lumps from forming.
5. Continue whisking, and slowly add the milk, as well as the lemon peel.
6. To the filling mixture, cut in the butter, and then put the saucepan over medium heat to start warming up the mixture. Continue to stir this constantly until it begins to thicken.
7. Remove the pan from the heat. Beat the egg yolk in a small bowl with the almond extract. Add a bit of the hot mixture to the egg mixture to temper it, whisking briskly. Then add it into the custard mixture, still whisking briskly. It should now have a custard consistency. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic to the surface of the custard, and set to cool in the fridge for an hour.
8. Now it’s time to assemble these tasty treats! Cut the dough ball into half. On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the dough pieces into an 11-inch circle, about a quarter-inch thick.
9. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut out however many dough circles you’d like to make. Press each of these circles into the bottom (and up into the sides) of tart pans. (We recommend 3 x 1/14 inch tart pans).
10. Take the dough scraps and reroll. These can be cut into more circles. If you do this, you should have about 12 tart shells total. Repeat with cutting these pieces into circles and fill the tart pans.
11. Place the tart pans onto a baking sheet. Each tart shell should be filled with about 2 tablespoons of filling.
12. Roll out the other piece of dough, and again cut them into about 3 inch circles.
13. Brush the edges of the tart bottoms with egg white, then place the circles over each tart and pinch the dough edges closed.
14. Refrigerate for around 30 minutes.
15. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, paint the tops of the tarts with egg wash.
16. Bake the tarts for about 15-18 minutes, or until the tops turn a beautiful golden brown.
17. Remove from oven and let the pasticciotti cool a couple minutes, then remove them carefully from their tins and let them cool completely. If you’d like to save them for later, store in a tight container.
By Peg Kern
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