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Pasticciotti Italian Cream Filled Tarts

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.

Pasticiotti on a black plate.


 

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.

Recipe Ingredients

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
Pastries cut in half on a black plate.

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.

Boiling the cream and milk with the lemon peel.

In a medium pot add yolks and sugar, whisk together until combined, then add flour and vanilla and whisk again until smooth.

Whisking the yolks, sugar and flour.

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.

Making the pastry cream until thick.

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.

The cream out of the fridge and whipped until creamy.

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).

Ingredients in the food processor.

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.

Ingredients mixed to form a dough.

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. 

Pastry in the tin and pastry cream added before baking.

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.

Pastry on a black pan with powdered sugar on top.

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.

Pasticiotti on a black board.

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.

A pasticiotti cut in half.

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!

Pastry on a black pan with powdered sugar

Pasticciotti Italian Cream Filled Tarts

Rosemary Molloy
Pasticciotti Italian Cream Filled Tarts, a delicious baked breakfast or dessert recipe. Pastry dough filled with a creamy lemon filling.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 56 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 tarts
Calories 295 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

CROSTATA DOUGH

  • 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
    • tablespoons all purpose flour
    • peel from 1 or 2 lemons no white part

    EGG WASH

    • 1 large egg
    • 1-2 tablespoons water
    • 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar

    Instructions
     

    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.

    CROSTATA DOUGH

    • 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!

    EGG WASH

    • In a small bowl beat together the egg and water.

    Notes

    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.
    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.
    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.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 137mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 96mg | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 610IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 1.2mg
    Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

    Updated from December 14, 2016.

    63 Comments

    1. Hi!

      I am from Lecce! And love these. Pasticciotti are a breakfast staple in my hometown!

      They actually freeze very well if half cooked. Then you just have to take them out the freezer and complete the cooking in the oven straight from frozen!
      Also try adding some orange or lemon zest in the dough!
      And for those who are willing to try the original recipe calls for lard instead of butter. Not very vegetarian friendly but delicious!

      Awesome website by the way! 🙂

    2. 5 stars
      Yummy! We are going to Italy next month. I have been cooking authentic Italian recipes. This treat was delicious! I look forward to trying them in Italy, too.

    3. 5 stars
      My family really enjoyed these. Brought us back to being in Sorrento this time last year, thank you for sharing!

    4. I really want to make these but I only have medium (standard) muffin tins. How many do you think it would make in the standard muffin tin and how long would I bake them? Thanks!

      1. Hi Jessica, I would say you will probably get around 9 medium tarts. I hope you enjoy them.

        1. 5 stars
          I made them and they were so good! But the tops of my tarts cracked for some reason. Do you have any idea why that happened? They are still delicious. I also didn’t realize they needed to be refrigerated so I left them at room temperature over night. Hopefully they will still be okay to eat. I’ll certainly take that chance because they are so yummy!

        2. Hi Jessica, thanks glad you enjoyed them. Yes they crack if they are filled too much, I like them overfilled so mine usually always crack. Try filling them halfway then they shouldn’t crack. If your house isn’t too hot they should be fine. Have a great weekend.

    5. 5 stars
      Me and my family enjoyed pasticiotti while on vacation in Lecce last year. This recipe is on point ! I can’t wait to see my kids faces when they get home today 😁 thank you.

    6. 5 stars
      These are so delicious. My husband and I don’t like anything too sweet. With the pastry I only put two tablespoons of sugar and only quarter of a cup of sugar in the custard. They were still sweet enough. This will definately be a recipe I keep for special occasions. I am going to try making a coffee custard next time.
      Thankyou for your recipe.

    7. 5 stars
      Hi,

      I’m not getting an option to follow this page on Pinterest. If I sign up, will that give me access to all of the same recipes and this page above? I don’t know anyone outside of my family who makes Pasta Frola! My Italian family in Argentina make that. You know how to cook, I don’t follow many people, maybe I’m missing the how to save this page but definitely want to follow you. Huge compliment. Can’t wait to try your recipes! I’m using my cell, does that make a difference in following web links??

      1. Hi Cheryl thanks so much. In order to follow me on Pinterest you need to have a Pinterest Account is that what you mean? You can also sign up for notifications and or the newsletter (the notification signup pops up on the top of the page and the newsletter signup is on the right side bar). Your cell phone shouldn’t make a difference. Hope that works for you.

    8. In Rome N.Y.we had a pasta chock,I am unsure of its spelling do you have a firm dough with pudding inside.recipe?

      1. Hi Jill, haha that name is great, it is so close I think you mean Pasticiotti and yes I do here is the link https://anitalianinmykitchen.com/italian-cream-filled-pastry/ . Have a great weekend.

    9. Sandra,

      Hello, Love the recipes that you’ve supplied…. Thank you! I’m just wondering about another recipe and wondering if you knew what it is called? I think it is either Cavaganite? or Casaganite? It is a small ravioli filled with a combation of chocolate, coffee, chickpeas, etc. I’d love to know how to make it.

      Naomi

      1. Hi Naomi, so glad you enjoy the recipes, I have been asking around and no one seems to know what that is that you are describing. Do you know what area in Italy it is from? 🙂

      1. Christine, if you aren’t eating them within an hour or so I would say yes because of the cream.

    10. 5 stars
      I was wondering if this could all be prepped the day before, then assembled the next morning?

      1. Hi Sandra, sure, you could make the pastry and the cream (wrap the pastry in plastic and cover the bowl with the pastry cream with plastic) and leave it in the fridge overnight. I would remove the dough about 30 minitues from the fridge before rolling out. Hope that helps.

    11. Something wrong with the dough. I followed it to a “t” and it is too crumbly, I think there is something missing in your instructions.

      1. Hi Natasha, this is the dough I have always used and the ingredients are right, you just have to give it time and work it to bring it together, if you must add a little softened butter to bring it together. (or use a food processor to help) hope that helps.

        1. The dough recipe calls for 1 3/4 cups flour but the instructions say start with 2 cups of flour then add more!!!

        2. Hi John, corrected, it should be 1 1/2 cups to start, so about that and thanks for letting me know. Have a great week.

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