Saturday, July 20 2024

This little dessert has since transformed into one of Puglia’s most adored sweets.

It has also found its way into cafes and pasticcerias across Italy’s largest cities and migrated to Italian American bakeries in communities such as Utica, N.Y., where it’s called a “pustie.”

Here in Lecce, options are especially abundant.

A pasticciotto is a custard-filled pastry, often eaten as a quick breakfast or mid-morning snack.

You can find them all over Puglia, but they are Leccese in origin.

You can’t pass a pastry shop or café – of which there are many – in Lecce without seeing rows of these oblong, golden treats displayed behind glass.

I ate far more than I care to count during the month I lived there.







Makes between 15 pasticciotti


For the dough:

  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp of butter, cold
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup of icing sugar and extra for finishing


In a food processor put the flour and butter and process until combined .

Place the mixture in a bowl or on the counter and add the powdered sugar and egg yolks.

Mix until the dough is nice and smooth.

Allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.

Roll out the dough and line the molds.

Fill them with 1 tablespoon of black cherries and top with the vanilla custard.

Then top with the pastry.

Bake at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Allow to cool and finish with powdered sugar.


For the pastry cream

  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 3/4 cup of sugar

Other ingredients:

  • amarena cherries jam or in syrup
  • extra icing sugar for finishing




Bring the milk with the vanilla pod to a boil.

Mix the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl.

Add the flour.

Stir in the hot milk and return to low heat, stirring constantly until the cream thickens and boils for one minute.

Let it cool before using it for the filling.

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