The Pasticciotti or Bocconotti traditional recipe was first featured in Taranto’s Simposio: a cookbook about one of Puglia’s secret gems!
My friend Sarah, who lives in Milan and has a fancy work that has to do with fashion, advertising etc., is addicted to Pasticciotti Leccesi, “pasta frolla” (shortcrust pastry) muffins filled with “crema pasticcera” (pastry cream). In Martina Franca, the recipe is called Bocconotti and the usual oval muffin-like sweets have a small button on top to remind us they treasure another ingredient that makes them superb: Amarene, sour cherries.
the last cookbooks
Pasticciotti or Bocconotti Pugliesi
for the shortcrust pastry
- 2 + 1/3 cups 0 flour 300 gr or 10.6 oz
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons butter 150 gr or 5.3 oz
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 1 + 1/4 cups confectionary sugar 150 gr or 5.3 oz
- 3 egg yolks
- a pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla bean
- zest of half a lemon
for the pastry cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 cups cow milk 500 ml or 17 fl oz
- 3/4 cup sugar 150 gr or 5.3 oz
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon 00 flour 50 gr or 1.8 oz
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 pinch salt
for the finishing
- 1/2 cup syrupy Amarena cherries including the syrup - only for the Martina Franca Bocconotti
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 splash milk
Place the butter, cut in pieces, sugar, and honey in the mixer, and work the ingredients over low/medium speed.
Beat the egg yolks and salt in a cup and pour them into the mixer bowl.
Carve the vanilla bean and add the pods to the bowl. Add the lemon zest as well. Mix to amalgamate, but don't overwork.
Sift the flour twice and add it to the bowl. Mix the dough for a few seconds, just the time needed to get a dough that won't stick to your hands. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate it for two hours.
Roll out the dough. It should be circa 0.25 cm (1/10 inch) thick.
Cut out circles with a large cookie cutter or a mug. The circles should be one and a half times the muffin mold cavities.
Display the discs on a tray and refrigerate them ten minutes more.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (370°F).
Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan, turn off the heat and add the salt and the vanilla bean (carved to release pods). Let infuse for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar until frothy.
Sift the flour and add it to the yolks and sugar mixture. Mix well.
Add a few scoops of milk through a fine sieve and mix well. Add the remaining milk (through the sieve) and incorporate it thoroughly.
Return the cream to the saucepan and cook it over medium/low heat, continuously stirring, until it thickens.
Time to assemble your Bocconotti. Grease the mold with butter.
Place one disc in each spot, adjusting it to line the bottom and the sides. Add about one to one and a half tablespoons of cream, three to four cherries, and a splash of syrup.
Place another disc on top and press the sides with your thumb to seal the sides.
Use the dough scraps to form tiny studs to place on top of the Bocconotti.
Whisk the remaining egg yolk and milk and brush the mixture over the Bocconotti's surface.
Bake fifteen to twenty minutes until golden brown.
Before unmolding, bring to room temperature to avoid the shortcrust pastry from cracking and to let the cream firm.
Enjoy your Pasticciotti or Bocconotti Pugliesi!