A typical sweet of Apulian cuisine, became famous in 1745 at the pastry shop of Galatina. Like many Italian dishes, it was born by chance to overcome the economic problems of the pastry chef, who had to find a way out, without closing the family business.
Pasticciotto is a casket of short pastry which contains a custard and is baked in the oven. It was Andrea Ascalone, from Salento, who in the mid 1700’s invented this cake in order to save his pastry shop. Among economic difficulties, and by experimenting new recipes, he decided to mix what was left over from a previously prepared cake. He succeeded in creating a smaller version of the cake, but with the same delicious flavor. Not being satisfied with the result, he decided to call it pasticciotto because of the disaster he had made.
Always because of his dissatisfaction, he gave it to a passerby still warm. The latter did not stop complimenting him for the goodness of the cake. All these compliments made Ascalone change his mind; he decided to prepare it every day. A true story, recreated by the studies of a local journalist: Zeffirino Rizzelli. It seems instead that the first customer of the pasticciotto was the parish priest of the town don Silvestro. He made a great publicity to the pastry shop.
This recipe has similarities with Basque cake and has a similar relative in Naples, where black cherry is also added to the filling. It is a recipe which is still handed down from father to son and it is not confined to Salento. It has reached overseas. There are many variations of this recipe, both for its shape, traditionally oval, and for its filling. Whether it is made with custard, pistachio cream or chocolate, everyone likes the pasticciotto, especially for breakfast with an hot cappuccino.
Prepare the custard by heating the milk over low heat with the vanilla. Beat the egg yolks separately with the sugar and flour.
Combine the two mixtures and stir over low heat until the custard has thickened. Allow to cool.
For the shortcrust pastry, place flour and cold butter in pieces in mixer. Once you have a sandy dough, arrange on a work surface.
Add the egg yolks, sugar and flour and knead by hand until you have a compact dough. Let rest in refrigerator 30 minutes.
Roll out the shortcrust pastry with a rolling pin and line the buttered molds.
Stuff with the cream and close with another layer of shortcrust pastry.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes at 180°.
The filling can be customized according to personal taste with: chocolate, pistachios, black cherries or jams.