Thursday, September 2, 2010
Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite Italian custard-filled pastries. Meet pasticciotti. I'm going to let you figure out how to pronounce it. I still have to Google the spelling every time. The original, and the best pasticciotti I have ever had, can only be found at the Florentine Pastry Shop, in Utica, NY.
Photo and restaurant review from Roadfood.com
My Mom grew up near Utica and I have family that lives there. The Florentine Pastry Shop has been a must-stop location, every time anyone goes there. I put my order in for a half dozen of these coveted vanilla filled tarts, when my Mom and Dad were in town. I have one left in my refrigerator. Not for long.
Look at that golden crust. The button on top means it's vanilla. They also have chocolate, lemon and Italian cheesecake filling. They are such a treat. Maybe it's the custard. Maybe it's the Italian tradition. Maybe it's a connection to days gone by. Not everyone is crazy about these pastries. My husband isn't. But he's not Italian. We sill love you Honey.
Two years ago, my Mom found a recipe in the newspaper for Pasticciotti, and we gave them a try. We used a muffin pan at the time, but she has since used little individual tart tins, which allows for more filling and better results. They don't look quite like the original, but they tasted good! They have a dense crumbly crust, complimented by smooth vanilla custard with a hint of lemon in the middle. If you would like to make some, here is the recipe:
1 lb. Flour
1 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Cup Shortening
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Milk
For Filling (Vanilla Custard):
1/2 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
2 Egg Yolks
2 Cups Milk
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla
Grated Rind of 1 Lemon
Dot of Butter
To Make the Pastry:
Combine dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until crumbly. Add eggs, vanilla and milk and mix thoroughly. Line each tart tin with approximately 1 heaping tablespoon of pastry dough. Fill 3/4 full with tart filling. Flatten 1 Tablespoon of dough into a 3-inch circle and place on top of the filled tarts. Brush with beaten egg. Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown (about 30 minutes, but check throughout bake time).
To Make the Filling:
Blend all ingredients in a saucepan and cook, stirring, until thick.
Here is another similar recipe with step-by-step photos.
Do you have a favorite Italian pastry or dessert? Was there one you grew up with that you crave from time to time? Does anyone else have as many sweet teeth as I do?