Custard, or as Italians call it, crema pasticcera, is a classic found in countless desserts. Who could live without this tantalizing filling used between layers of Pan di Spagna, that sweet surprise at the center of a cupcake, sfogliatelle or lobster tails and so many other delights?
These mini pies or crostatine are a great addition to your holiday dessert table, not to mention very easy on the chef and generate smiles all around. Here we have a simple combination of pie crust and crema pasticcera— but not just any custard filling. The recipe you see here comes from my mother-in-law’s stash, with a minor change to suit the dessert.
Here’s a quick tip or two to look at before making these crostatine al cacao con crema pasticcera e lamponi:
- Don’t over work the dough. This isn’t a pasta dough where you NEED to KNEAD. Just a few quick pulses and a few seconds between your hands are plenty to form a lovely dough.
- Whisk, Whisk, Whisk and Watch the Heat: You want the custard to cook evenly without lumps or worse—over cooking. Just keep whisking with the flame on low-medium heat. Once it thickens up, it’s done! Another rule of thumb: when you begin to see some bubbles in the custard, continue to whisk for another 1-2 minutes. Then remove it from the heat, pouring it into a nice glass container and covering with cellophane. Make sure the cellophane makes contact with the cream, otherwise it will form a hard layer.
Have fun with these sweet treats and enjoy!