PASTICCIOTTO CAKE (CUSTARD AND BLACK CHERRIES)

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This recipe for the Pasticciotto Cake is inspired by that of the legendary pastry chef Sal de Riso: it is one of the cakes from his childhood, more precisely from his grandmother Carmela. It is a very good dessert, made with shortcrust pastry, cream and black cherries, and has something reassuring, as only grandmother’s recipes can have.  In this version we have not covered with dried fruit, but we will explain how to do it in any case.
Below are the instructions for the pasticciotto cake.

Ingredients:

For the custard/filling

  • 350 ml of milk
  • 150 ml of fresh cream
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 150 g of sugar
  • 50 g of flour
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons Kirsch (or other scented liqueur)
  • a pack of cherries in syrup

For the pastry

  • 500 g of flour
  • 300 g of butter
  • 200 g of sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • vanillin and lemon zest

Coverine (optional)

  • Almonds, pine nuts and granulated sugar
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • water and lemon to taste
  • Powdered sugar to cover

Start by preparing the pastry by placing the flour and the cold butter cut into pieces in a large bowl, with your hands crumble the butter into the flour until you obtain a real floury crumble. At this point, if you have a planetary mixer, add all the ingredients and knead quickly with the paddle attachment until the dough comes away from the walls and becomes homogeneous (if you knead by hand, make a fountain with the crumbled butter and flour and at mix sugar and eggs in the center and knead, gradually adding the flour and butter mixture). form a ball and cover it with a cloth to let it rest in the fridge (refrigerator) for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the custard: boil the milk with the cream, lemon zest and half the sugar.

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Separately, mix the egg yolks with the remaining sugar

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and then with the flour and a pinch of salt and place the mixture in a non-stick pan with a thick bottom. When the milk is hot, pour it slowly over the egg mixture and mix gently until it runs out. Return to the heat (gentle) and bring to the boil, stirring continuously in the same direction to prevent it from sticking to the bottom and/or forming lumps, add the liqueur if you like and remove the lemon zest. Remove from the heat and place in a cold bowl and cover with cling film in contact with the cream, to prevent a film from forming on contact with the air. Leave to cool completely.

Put the pastry back in the fridge, set aside about 1/3 of it and roll it out with a rolling pin on the floured surface to a thickness of about 0.5 cm and line a cake mold of about 22 cm in diameter with fairly high edges, prick the bottom with the tines of the fork.

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Cover with the custard and then cover with the black cherries and part of their juice (don’t overdo it otherwise it will leak), if you prefer you can also put the black cherries on the bottom and the cream on top.

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With the pastry kept aside, roll out a 0.5 cm thick disc to cover the cake and trim the edges so that everything is sealed. Make a few small holes with a toothpick on the surface to prevent it from swelling during cooking.

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With the leftover shortcrust pastry you can cut out some shapes and decorate the cake by brushing it with a little milk or egg white.

Cook at 180°C for about 50 minutes, until the pastry browns on the surface. And here it is, good and fragrant, even better the next day and the day after that…

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Grandma Carmela’s original recipe includes a covering of dried fruit: once the cake is ready, if there is any cream leftover, cover it with a layer of custard, or prepare a light icing by adding a few drops of water/lemon to 100 g of sugar icing and brush the cake with a brush (a very light layer, serves as “glue”). At this point, pour the dried fruit over it (pine nuts and chopped almonds) and cover it, leave to dry for 15 minutes and cover with icing sugar. This way it will also be “crispy on the outside”, next time I’ll try too!

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