Friday, October 21, 2011

Carmela Soprano's Pasticiotti / Tartlets with Vanilla Cream Filling

I can't believe it.
We've cooked through Carmela Soprano's Entertaining with the Sopranos.
All of it.

And we have the extra pounds to prove it.

Okay... this is the last recipe.
I'm feeling verklempt.

In the Come to My House chapter of Carmela's Entertaining with the Sopranos, there's a recipe for Pasticiotti (little vanilla cream tartlets).  
It's a nice recipe to bake to end this project.
And I like that it's in the chapter Come to My House.
I feel like you've been in my kitchen.
The best room my house.

A little warning...
The filling and crust have to be refrigerated overnight.
It's worth the wait.


Serves 6
Pastry Cream Filling

In a medium saucepan heat over low heat
1 Cup milk
Heat until bubbles form around the edge.  Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl whisk until pale yellow
2 large egg yolks
1/2 Cup sugar
Whisk in
2 Tablespoons flour
Whisking constantly, gradually add the hot milk.
Return the mixture to the saucepan.
Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until boiling.
Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute (until mixture is thickened).

Scrape the custard into a bow and stir in
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To prevent a skin from forming, cover the custard with 
plastic wrap directly on the surface.
Let cool slightly, then refrigerate overnight, until cold.


In a large mixer bowl stir together
3 1/4 Cups flour
1/2 Cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Add and blend until it is the size of small peas
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter

Beat together
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Add the liquid to the dry ingredient.
Mix just until the dough comes together.
Add some ice water if the dough is too dry.

Gather the dough into a ball.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces, one piece slightly larger.
Flatten the pieces into disks.
Wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate overnight.


Grease 8  2 1/2 x 1/2 inch tartlet pans.

Keep the smaller piece of dough in the fridge.
On a floured surface roll out the larger dough 1/4 inch thick.
Cut the dough into 8 circles 1 1/2 inches wider than the pans.
Place each circle in a pan, and press it gently in place.
If it tears, just patch it with scraps.  DON'T PANIC.

Fill the shells about 3/4 full with the custard.
Don't overfill - the baking custard will puff and can leak.  BAD.

Roll out the remaining dough 1/4 inch thick.
Cut the dough into 8 circles slightly wider than the pans.
Place a circle on top of each tart and seal the edges by pressing with a fork's tines.

Preheat oven to 350ยบ

Beat together
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon water
Brush the mixture on the top of each tartlet.
With a fork, pierce each tartlet.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes until lightly golden.
Let cool on the pans on a rack 5 minutes.

Loosen each tart by inserting the tip of a knife between the crust and the pan.
Transfer each tart to a serving platter.
Store in the refrigerator.

Before serving, dust with
Confectioners' sugar

Would I make Pasticiotti again?
Sure, for special occasions... with a few shortcuts.
It was the caboose, the last recipe, the baby.
It'll always hold a special place for me.
And I hope for you, too.

Another recipe down.  

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