Mini Cocoa Pies with Custard Filling and Raspberries

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!

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LifeisaBowlofPasta

For Founder and Food Blogger, Jo Ann Tartaglia, there is more to food than what we see on our plates. "It not only feeds the body, but nourishes the soul ...

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