Wednesday, June 12 2024

In Sicily they are called “Sciù.”

They are delicate and delicious cream puffs with the same cream filling used to fill Sicilian cannoli.

I hope you enjoy them.

Let me know!









Makes about 12 cream puffs



Pastry Puffs:

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (reduce to 1/4 tsp.if using salted butter)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs

Cannoli Filling:

  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta (I wouldn’t try the low-fat here)
  • 1 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup icing (confectioners) sugar (or a bit more or less, depending on
  • how sweet you like it)
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
    (Variations: replace cinnamon with grated orange or lemon zest or sprinkle chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips over filling. A drizzle of melted chocolate over the top is also a nice variation)


  • Icing (confectioners) sugar




Drain Ricotta: Place ricotta in a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl.

Press down lightly with the back of a spoon and allow to drain for about an hour before making filling.

Pastry Puffs:
Preheat oven to 425° F. with rack in centre of oven, and prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine hot water, butter, sugar and salt.

Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Add flour all at once and stirring vigourously and constantly (really get in there and stir, stir, stir), cook until mixture clears the sides of the pan and forms a ball around your spoon in the middle, as you stir (2-3 minutes).

Remove from heat.

Add eggs, one at a time.

After each egg addition, stir quickly and vigourously, until the egg is combined (it will start out as a slimy mess, but just keep stirring and it will come together).

Repeat with each egg. Once all eggs are added, stir a bit more until smooth and shiny.


Add batter to piping bag fitted with a large star tip (alternately, drop balls of batter onto prepared pans and roughly shape with the back of a spoon).


Pipe batter onto prepared pan, leaving about 2 inches between each one.

Bake for 15 minutes at 425°, then reduce heat to 350° F. and cook for about another 10 minutes, or until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped. (*Do not open oven while they’re cooking.).

Mine were about the size of my palm.

If yours are bigger or smaller, allow a bit more or less cooking time.

Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.



In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine filling ingredients (except chocolate chips, if using) and beat well until light and fluffy.


Cut pastries in half (or use a sharp knife to cut a small hole in the side) and pipe either a ring of filling around the outside of the bottom half or fill the cavity with filling.

If using chocolate chips, you’ll need to go the cut in half route.

Simply sprinkle chips on top of filling before putting the top on.

Sprinkle generously with icing sugar.

Serve immediately or refrigerate uncovered for up to 6 hours.

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