Pasticciotti: the delicious recipe for making Italian cream-filled pastries

Total time: 50 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 10 people
By Cookist

Pasticciotti are an Italian cream filled pastry recipe, a delicious dessert from the Apulia region. They’re also known as pasticciotto leccese, and are often called pusties by the Italian-American communities.

The crisp and flaky pastry is 1-inch thick and holds a sweet, creamy filling. To make this classic Italian dessert you will need eggs, flour, sugar, and pastry cream which you can make on your own or use the store-bought one.

As with most great inventions, it’s said that the pasticciotti were invented by mistake when a chef baked scraps of dough filled with pastry. The result was delicious! If you haven’t tried your hand at making pastry before, why not try making pasticciotti? You’ll love the result.

What Are Pasticciotti?

A Pasticciotto (singular) is pronounced pastitˈtʃɔtto and literally means “small pie” in English. There’s also a good reason why they’re called that, because it’s basically the Italian equivalent of Portuguese Egg Tarts. In the Italian-American community, they’re also called pusties.

It’s said the pasticciotti was invented in the Province of Lecce in the Southern Region of Puglia when a chef baked small scraps of dough and filled it with custard. These days, they’re made by lining a mold with pastry dough, filling it with a custard, and then covering it with another piece of pastry dough. The traditional filling is either ricotta cheese of an egg custard.


Cream Filled Pasticciotti Ingredients

Eggs – use fresh, large eggs.

Flour – we used 00 flour in this recipe, but feel free to use cake flour (which will give a softer dough).

Vegetable oil – use a neutral oil with no overpowering flavors.

Pastry cream – make your own or use store-bought.

How To Make Italian Pasticciotti

Make the pastry by whisking together the ingredients until the dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the glutens in the dough to relax and the dough will be easier to work with.

When the dough is ready, roll it out, then use it to line each mold, cutting off any overhanging edges. Fill the cups with the pastry cream and cover with another piece of pastry dough. Poke with a fork, brush with an egg wash, and then bake until golden.

How To Serve Cream-Filled Pasticciotti

Eat the pasticciotti as a quick breakfast or mid-morning snack, or serve it with whipped cream or ice cream as a dessert. It goes down well with a cup of espresso or cappuccino.

Tips For making Italian Cream Filled Pastries

Use a chocolate custard, lemon custard, or sweetened ricotta filling if you prefer.

Don’t forget to grease the muffin molds, otherwise the pastry dough will stick and the pasticciotti will fall apart.

For this recipe, we used traditional pasticciotti molds, but you can also use a muffin tin or silicon muffin molds.

Add a teaspoon of hazelnut cream like Nutella before adding the pastry cream.


How To Store Pasticciotti

Leftover pasticciotti can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Allow it to come to room temperature before serving. You can also warm it in the oven for 10 minutes.

Can You Freeze Italian Pasticciotti?

Once assembled, the uncooked pastries can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in the fridge (overnight) before baking.

Flour 00
300 g (1/2 cup)
100 g (1/2 cup)
Vegetable Oil
120 ml (1/2 cup)
Vanilla powder
1/2 tsp
Baking powder
1 tsp
pastry cream
500 ml (2 cups)
Egg wash


Combine flour with vanilla powder and baking powder. Add sugar, oil and eggs, whisk to combine and start working in the dry ingredients.

When the dough comes together, cover it and leave to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough.

Use oven muffin baking molds and cover the bottom and sides of each mold.

Cut the excess dough on the edges.

Repeat until the dough runs out.

Fill in with premade pastry cream and cover with more rolled out dough, pinching edges very well.

Poke each bun with a fork and brush with egg wash.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 200C/400F. Serve and enjoy!

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