Indulge in the sweet and creamy flavors of the Italian Pasticciotti Italian Cream Filled Pastries. The perfect Italian pie pastry filled with a Creamy Pastry Cream Filling and then baked to perfection. A wonderful new Dessert Recipe.
These delicious filled pastries might be a little extra work but they are definitely worth it! They make the perfect family or company to dinner dessert recipe.
Living in Italy I have come to love Italian pastries and cakes, I find the simple Ciambellone or fancier Layer cake a couple of my favorites. And of course you can’t forget a Crostata, Cannoli or even Gelato!
What are Pasticciotti and where do they come from?
Well this delicious Italian Cream Filled Pastry is made with Italian pastry dough or Pasta Frolla. They were apparently invented by a Chef from the Province of Lecce in the Southern Region of Puglia. He created these “mini cakes” from his leftover scraps and named them Pasticciotti meaning pasticcio or mishap.
For the Lemon Pastry Cream
- Milk – whole milk
- Cream – whipping/whole or heavy cream with at least 30% fat content
- Egg yolks – room temperature
- Sugar – granulated sugar
- Vanilla – vanilla extract
- Flour – all purpose flour
- Lemons – peel only no white part
For the Pastry
- Flour – all purpose flour
- Salt – if you use unsalted butter then use a bit more salt
- Sugar – granulated sugar
- Baking powder
- Egg – one whole egg and one egg yolk room temperature
- Butter – room temperature – good quality
How to make Pasticciotti
First make the lemon pastry cream
In a medium pot, heat over low the milk, cream and lemon rind, until very hot but do not boil. Remove from heat and let cool to warm.
In a medium pot add yolks and sugar, whisk together until combined, then add flour and vanilla and whisk again until smooth.
Place the pot over medium / low heat, pour the warm milk/cream through a sieve to remove the lemon rind (discard), whisk continuously until thickened.
Move to a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap (make sure wrap touches the cream mixture and refrigerate approximately 2 hours. You may need to rewhip if it is really thick.
Making the Pastry dough
In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, sugar and baking powder, make a well in the centre and add egg, egg yolk and butter (cubed).
Mix together, you can also use a food processor, pulse until dough just starts to come together. Remove dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead until it becomes a soft dough, wrap in plastic and chill.
Putting it together
Remove the dough from the fridge, on a lightly floured surface knead a few times to soften it up. Roll to 1/8″ thickness (or a little thicker if you prefer), cut out circles and fit into the prepared muffin pan. Prick the bottom of the tart with the end of a fork and then fill almost to the top with Pastry Cream.
Wet the rim of each tart with a little water top with another cut out circle, cut with a knife to remove excess dough and seal with fingers. Bush the top of each muffin tart with the egg wash and bake until golden. Let cool then dust with icing/powdered sugar before serving.
What is the difference between Pasta Frolla and Pie Dough?
The main difference is eggs, Italian pastry crust has butter, an egg, an egg yolk and baking powder. Whereas American pie crust is all butter or a mixture of butter and shortening.
Tips for making the Pasticciotti
- I decided to fill them with a Lemon Pastry cream this time, but you could also use a Simple Pastry Cream or a chocolate cream or even a coffee pastry cream. You decide.
- Remember to be very careful when peeling the Lemon, you don’t want the white part, which will give the Pastry Cream a Sour taste.
- The Lemon taste is quite delicate, so if you prefer a stronger lemon taste I would use the peel of two lemons instead of one.
- I prefer to make my Pastry Cream first because it needs more time to cool down then the Pastry dough.
- I also made them with my muffin tin because there is no need to go out and buy new pastry forms. And they work perfectly well.
How many Tarts does the Recipe make?
I made 12 medium sized tarts, but you could easily mix it up with large or even mini tarts if you prefer. I made them again this morning and there are only three left, so they are quite delicious.
When to serve Pasticciotti Italian Cream Filled Tarts
Pasticiotti Tarts are usually served for breakfast in Italy, but they are also eaten throughout the day. I think they make the perfect dessert idea too.
How to Store Italian Pastry Cream Tarts
The Pasticciotti should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Let sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving. You could also warm them in a low oven for about 10 minutes.
How to freeze them
It is best to freeze them unbaked, freeze them in the muffin tin until firm. Leave them in the tin, covered well with plastic wrap or foil and placed in a freezer bag. They will keep for up to 2-3 months in the freezer. You can bake them from frozen, although they will probably need 5 minutes or more baking time.
So however you decide to fill these yummy tarts, be sure to eat them warm with a little dusting of icing sugar. Let me know what you think. Enjoy!
Pasticciotti Italian Cream Filled Tarts
- 1¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt*
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons butter (room temperature) (140 grams total)
*I use salted butter, if you use unsalted then add ¼ teaspoon salt.
LEMON PASTRY CREAM
- ¾ cup milk (whole milk)
- ¾ cup cream whipping/whole or heavy cream with at least 30% fat content
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 2½ tablespoons all purpose flour
- peel from 1 or 2 lemons no white part
- 1 large egg
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar
LEMON PASTRY CREAM
- In a medium pot, heat over low the milk, the cream and lemon rind, until very hot but do not boil. Remove from heat and let cool to warm.
- In a medium pot add the yolks and sugar, whisk together until combined, then add the flour and vanilla, whisk again until smooth, place the pot over medium / low heat, pour the warm milk/cream through a sieve to remove the lemon rind (discard), whisk continuously until thickened. Move to a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap (make sure wrap touches the cream mixture and refrigerate approximately 2 hours. You may need to rewhip it if it is really thick.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder, make a well in the centre and add the egg, egg yolk and butter (cubed), mix together (you can also use a food processor, pulse until dough just starts to come together), remove dough to a lightly floured flat surface and knead until it becomes a soft dough, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C) Grease and flour a 12 medium muffin tin.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
- Remove the dough from the fridge, and place on a lightly floured surface knead a few times to soften it up. Roll to 1/8" thickness (or a little thicker if you prefer), cut out circles (approximately 3 1/2 inch / 8 1/2 cm size) and fit into the muffin pan. Prick the bottom of the dough with the tongs of a fork and then fill almost to the top with the pastry cream.
- Wet the rim of each tart with a little water top with another cut out circle, cut with a knife to remove excess dough and seal with fingers. (seals better with fingers lightly dipped in water). When complete, brush the top of each tart with the egg wash and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool about 15 minutes in the muffin pan then move to a wire rack to cool completely, dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!
- In a small bowl beat together the egg and water.
Updated from December 14, 2016.
Hi, getting ready to make this, can I just zest the lemon peel & then leave it in the cream?
Hi Laura, if you don’t mind that it won’t be perfectly smooth, then you can. Let me know how it goes.
Glad I asked before using lemon zest!! These came out fabulous! Thank you for sharing the recipe.
Hi Laura, thanks glad you liked them, great idea you had! Take care.
Really looking to try this, but the grams for the flour appear to be wrong. The comment says (228 grams) but when you select the Metric measurement option it says the flour is 262 grams. There are similar problems with the whipping cream and the butter measurements.
Virtually all references I know of indicate that 1 cup of flour = 125g. So 1.75 cups of flour = 219g.
Heavy cream weighs approximately 178g, which your Metric measurement correctly states, but the comment says 165g.
For me the key problem is the flour, as I will weight that when I bake, but will not weigh the cream or butter.
Thanks for posting this recipe.
Hi Ed, sorry about that, it has been corrected to the correct weight amounts. For me flour is from 125-130 grams and I just weighed a cup of cream and it weighed 230 grams. Let me know how it goes.
Helen S Medler says
Do you use European butter in your baking recipes, (higher fat content) or American does it make a difference?
Hi Helen, I usually use European butter but my daughter for videos uses American and both work. 🙂
I have made your recipe for pasta clotting several times. It takes me back to when my children were young. They still love them. Thanks for the recipe.
Hi Kathy, thanks so much, so glad you and your kids like them. Have a great week.
My custard didn’t set and I followed all instructions closely. What could have gone wrong?
Hi Nikola, I really don’t know why it wouldn’t set, maybe you should have cooked it longer. Let me know.
Rita meilak says
I made the passticciotti and couldn’t get them out of the muffin tin cause they got stuck, why did this happen cause they all crumbled and broke, I was so disappointed , they came out delicious, could you please let me know why this happened, I did grease the muffin tin ?
Hi Rita, I think maybe you didn’t grease them enough, dust it with flour after greasing or even spray. You could also try using paper cupcake holders. Hope that helps.
Fran Whitman says
I made this recipe using a 9 inch cake pan as you suggested. It turned out Perfectly…..I baked it at 375 for 25 minutes. The family loved it and will definitely make it again and again !!!!!
Hi Fran, thanks so much, so glad you all enjoyed it. Take care.
I just made this receipt for Easter and in honor of my father who loved Pasticciotti. It is a great recipe though I did not add enough lemon. But I would make a larger recipe of the crostata. I barely got 10 tarts – in medium sized muffin ti and even at that the tops were very thin. I just did not have enough dough. It would be better to have more rather than not enough.
Fran Whitman says
Thank you so much for your prompt reply….I’m making it for Easter….I will let you know how it works out 🙂
Hi Fran, your welcome and I hope you enjoy it. Happy Easter.
Fran Whitman says
Can these be made with a 9 inch pie instead of the smaller ones ?
Hi Fran, yes you can make it in a pan, I would probably use a cake pan, and be sure to bake it about 40-50 minutes, if it starts to brown to much halfway through then cover it with foil and continue baking. It should be nice and gold brown when baked. Let me know how it goes.
It came out beautifully! The Crostata is very light; not heavy, and the pastry cream is sooo good! I substituted lemon extract for the lemon peel, and cornstarch for the 2.5 Tbls of flour in the cream. For the top of the muffins, I used a 3 inch cut-out that worked perfectly.
Hi Cinzia, thanks so much, so glad you enjoyed it.
Donna DeWan says
Excellent recipe, perfect every time!
Thanks Donna, so glad you enjoyed it.