Ricotta and Lemon Cream “Pasticciotti”

From the kitchen of Giallo Zafferano, let’s rediscover the famous pasticciotti, a true delight of  Salentine pastry tradition. Enriched by lemon and ricotta pastry cream, these pastries are perfect for a sweet break or for a special event.
The most famous test kitchen in Italy studied this recipe for Limmi.

Ingredients for 12 pasticciotti pastries

  • 500 gr. all-purpose flour (type 00)
  • 200 gr. powdered sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 250 gr. fridge-cold butter
  • 1 vanilla bean (seeds only)

For the pastry cream

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 45 gr. corn starch or maizena
  • 400 ml milk
  • 140 g sugar
  • 100 m fresh heavy cream

For the filling

  • 250 gr. cow’s milk ricotta
  • 100 ml Limmi lemon juice


To prepare ricotta and lemon cream pasticciotti, start by making the shortcrust. Sift and place the flour, a pinch of salt, butter just taken out of the fridge, the seeds from the vanilla bean and the powdered sugar into a food processor. Stop the blades once mixture looks like sand, then pour it on a pastry board, make a well, place the egg yolks in the middle, then quickly incorporate the flour and knead to create uniform, dense dough.

Shape the dough into a ball, slightly flatten it and enclose it in plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge to firm up for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the pastry cream. Start by whipping the yolks and the sugar inside a pan, then add sifted corn starch and milk. Cook the cream on low heat, stirring continuously with a whisk until it thickens and reaches the proper consistency. Turn the burner off and   pour the cream into a large bowl, then place plastic wrap directly on the cream. Let it cool completely at room temperature, then place it in the refrigerator. Sift the ricotta, which at this point should have drained for at least two hours (or better yet overnight) to eliminate as much serum as possible.

When the cream is nice and cold, take it out of the fridge, mix it with the ricotta and a few drops of lemon juice, then cover it with plastic wrap. Take the shortcrust pastry dough out of the fridge, and roll it out to 1/2 cm in thickness. Butter and flour twelve small ramekins (or pasticciotti moulds), line them with dough, making sure it adheres to the bottom and sides, then cut off any excess dough along the top. Place two tablespoons of cream inside each ramekin, cover the top with another piece of shortcrust and cut off the excess to nicely square-off the edges.

Set the ramekins on a baking sheet, beat an egg yolk and brush the top of the pasticciotti with it. Bake for 45 minutes at 180°C in a pre-heated oven (160°C for 25 minutes when using a convection oven). Once the pasticciotti are nice and golden take them out of the oven and let them cool, or eat them warm!