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Italian sweet pastry recipe

Italian sweet pastry recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Pies and tarts
  • Pastry
  • Shortcrust pastry

This sweet, soft, shortcrust pastry is famous in Milan and used in many pies and tarts there. It is made with flour, egg yolk and icing sugar, flavoured with honey, vanilla and lemon zest.

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 125g butter, softened at room temperature
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch of salt dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water
  • 200g plain flour

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Beat softened butter, honey and icing sugar together until well mixed; stir in egg yolk, vanilla, lemon zest and salt dissolved in water.
  2. Add flour and mix the pastry until it no longer sticks to your fingers. Wrap in cling film and store in fridge for at least an hour, but preferable overnight, before using to line a 20cm tart tin.

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Authentic Italian Sfogliatelle Recipe

If you have visited the Campania region, then you must have encountered this curious-looking puff pastries called sfogliatelle. And yep, that’s not a typo, no matter how the spellcheck may tell you otherwise.

That is really how it’s spelled. As for how you pronounce it, you read it as sfol-ya-tel-le. And what is it exactly? It’s a puff pastry that has about the same texture as a croissant.

But its shape is that of a shell or a lobster tail.

And it can hold all kinds of yummy filling, such as a simple whipped cream or a special custard mixture with candied peels. Others even have almond paste as filling instead of a creamy custard.

Looking for the Authentic Italian Sfogliatelle Recipe ? Scroll down to the bottom. Or if you are looking for a different Italian dessert, this cannoli recipe might work for you.

Born and raised in Turin, Katia Delogu is a very passionate pastry chef who came to New York in 2010 to become the Executive Pastry Chef at Eataly. Since then, Katia has been traveling all around the world to train young pastry chefs and open new pastry shops for Eataly.

“I have two ambitious goals. First of all, I want to introduce the real Italian pastry to Americans, and then, I want to train more professional women as pastry chefs, since men have always dominated the pastry scene.”

Katia, talks about the difference between Italian and American pastries, describing how the pastry is evolving in the USA and what Americans like most.

What are the main differences between Italian pastry and American pastry?
American pastry is mostly about being simple – a careful search for natural, seasonal and local products, but most of all, it is based on a very simple technique. What strikes me [about American pastries] is the use of so many flavors and spices. In Italy, it’s the opposite – we tend to enhance the main ingredients of a recipe. Italian pastry is the result of historical and cultural influences that make it more sophisticated and rich.

Why has the classic Italian pastry seemed to struggle with taking off in the USA?
Besides the Italian pastry shop, the "modern" pastry shop, in general, has struggled to take off [in America] due to historical and cultural differences. For example, in the USA, we have always looked at dessert as indulgent and rich, while the evolution of the European pastry has experienced a certain evolution toward a healthier aesthetic or taste, using increasingly sophisticated ingredients. There is a compromise somewhere in between, however, and consequently, a great appreciation (and success) in the American market has grown for traditional pastries from Italy’s South.

Sweets from the South of Italy are a sort of comfort food for Americans since they were the first to be imported and made by immigrants from Southern Italy. Not only because of that, though. Southern Italian pastries, such as cannoli and babà – are rich and sweet like American pastries. In terms of Italian pasticceria, Americans identify most often with these.

Which Italian desserts are the most popular with Americans?
Cannoli, sfogliatelle, babà, and of course, tiramisù. During my 10 years of experience at Eataly, we tried and contributed to making the modern Italian pastry a little more well-known, along with the different regional Italian pastries.

Katia Delogu with the famous Italian pastry chef Corrado Assenza

What do you like most about American pastry?
Its simplicity, the grandeur of a certain technique, referring to a monumental pastry. Some creations are a piece of art.

Has Italian pasticceria evolved in Italy and America?
In Italy a lot – finally! We have adapted to the rest of Europe and the world, by adopting new techniques and making lighter pastries.

What are the main characteristics of Italian pastry?
The ongoing research, evolution, and rediscovery starts from a huge, historical, and culinary regional background. Italian pastry chefs are lucky because they can choose from a wide range of very high-quality ingredients and combine them for the best outcome. Ingredients do the trick for me!

Why have you chosen Torta di Toro as a recipe to share?
I chose this cake because it’s the one that represents me the most. It’s made out of my favorite ingredients: hazelnuts from Piemonte. I created it a long time ago, and I dedicated it to my favorite soccer team: Torino.

Torta di Toro by Katia Delogu

Torta di Toro: A Recipe by Pastry Chef Katia Delogu

Ingredients for the ‘frolla’ (crust):
70 g butter (5 tbsp)
40 g sugar (1/5 cup)
1 egg
100 g flour 100 gr (¾ cup)

Mix ingredients together in the order listed. Let the frolla rest in the fridge for 2 hours. After resting, roll out the dough until 4 mm thick. Use to cover a greased cake pan (20 cm diameter).

Ingredients for the ‘frangipani’:

80 g butter (1/3 cup)
80 g sugar (2/5 cup)
2 eggs
80 g hazelnut flour (¾ cup)

Using a paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar in a stationary mixer. Add one egg at a time, followed by the flour. Spread the frangipane on the frolla crust and bake it at 325 for 35 minutes. Let the cake cool before removing from the mold. Keep in the fridge.

Ingredients for the ‘cremino’ (filling):
100 g white chocolate (4 oz)
100 g hazelnut paste (4 oz)

Melt the chocolate and add the hazelnut paste. Combine.

Ingredients for assembly & decoration:

50 g milk chocolate (2 oz)
Whole hazelnuts
Gianduia chocolate for decoration

Melt 50 g milk chocolate and use it to make a crown around the cake, followed by the whole hazelnuts. Let the cake set in the fridge, then pour the melted cremino on top (be careful to not over fill it!) and return it to the fridge to set once more.
Decorate with shaved gianduia chocolate curls.
Serve at room temperature.


  1. Make filling:
    1. Bring milk and zest to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan, then remove from heat. Whisk together yolk, sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Whisk in milk, then transfer mixture to saucepan.
    2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, and boil 1 minute. Stir in vanilla, then transfer to a clean bowl and chill custard, its surface covered with parchment paper (to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least 1 hour. Discard zest.
    3. Pulse ricotta in a food processor until smooth. Whisk into custard. Stir in orange-flower water and citron. Chill until ready to use.
    1. Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in cleaned food processor until combined. Add butter and zest and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Add yolks and water and pulse until just incorporated and dough begins to form large clumps.
    2. Turn out dough onto a work surface and divide into 4 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather dough together, using a pastry or bench scraper if you have one, and form into a ball.
    3. Generously butter muffin cups and top of pan. Press 2 tablespoon dough over bottom and up side of each muffin cup in an even layer with well-floured fingers. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, roll out remaining dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper into a 9-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick) and transfer to a baking sheet, discarding top sheet of paper. Cut 12 (1/2-inch-wide) strips, then cut in half crosswise to make 24 strips total. Chill until ready to use.
    1. Spoon a scant 2 tablespoons filling into each muffin cup and smooth, then crisscross 2 strips on top of filling, trimming to fit. Brush pastry cross with egg wash. Bake until filling is puffed and starting to crack and edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
    2. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Invert a rack on top of pan, then flip pan and remove. Turn pastries right side up and cool completely.

    Recipe Summary

    • 1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry dough, thawed
    • 2 teaspoons white sugar, or as needed for dusting

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone sheet.

    Separate dough at the seams into 4 squares and place on prepared baking sheet. Score the dough all over with the tines of a fork to prevent it from rising too much when baking. Lightly sprinkle dough sheets with white granulated sugar.

    Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and 3 sheets of aluminum foil. Nest another baking sheet on top to apply some pressure to the dough while it bakes.

    Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes remove top pan and foil and gently peel off the parchment paper. Return pan to oven and bake until pastry is beautifully browned, 10 to 15 minutes. (Optionally, you can bake about 7 minutes after uncovering, then flip sheets over and bake until brown on the other side, another 7 minutes.)

    Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely before cutting.

    Square the sheets by trimming uneven edges off sheets using a sharp serrated knife with light sawing motion to keep the pastry from breaking. Cut each rectangle crosswise into 3 equal smaller rectangles. Use 3 small rectangles per pastry.

    Cannoli Shell Recipe

    If you can't stand the thought of store bought - and you are the curious type. Here's what the shell is made of:

    You take the dough. Form it into an oblong oval shape. Then wrap around a ring specifically made for cannoli frying. You can find those in the more fancy-pants cooking stores.

    If you really want to know how to make them and truly plan on doing it. I've found several blogs that walk you through it.

    Italian Pastry Cream (Crema Pasticcera)

    Crema pasticcera, pastry cream, is one of the basic ingredients used in many Italian pastries and cakes. It's the creamy, custardy filling in tarts, layer cakes, or pastries such as millefoglie it's also the cream filling you find in morning pastries such as cornetti (Italian-style croissants). In short, Italian desserts wouldn't be quite the same without it.

    Crema pasticcera is not difficult to make, though it does require care and attention so that it doesn't curdle. Fernanda Gosetti, the author of Il Dolcissimo, suggests that you use a copper pot because it conducts heat better, and adds that if you make crema pasticcera frequently, you should invest in a round-bottomed pot because it's easier to whisk the cream inside of it. She also notes that the crema should be transferred to a bowl as soon as it's ready because it will continue to cook in the hot pot.

    The quantities here can easily be increased or reduced. This recipe makes about 3 cups of pastry cream, which will be enough to fill a layer cake or make a small zuppa Inglese (similar to an English trifle).


    This seadas recipe is true to Sardinian tradition, which sees a few simple ingredients turned into something delicious. The sweet little pastries are filled with pecorino and lemon zest before being deep-fried and drizzled with honey. Make sure you use the best ingredients you can get your hands on.

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    A unique dessert that feels quintessentially Sardinian, seadas (also known as sebadas) are one of the best-known dishes from the region. It’s a dish of humble origins hailing from the pastoral areas at the core of the region – areas in which sheep’s milk cheese and honey were widely available.

    Walking the fine line between savoury and sweet, these ravioli-like pastries boast an lemon-scented cheese filling that melts and oozes when deep-fried, and a honey drizzle that balances out the flavour game while also adding a beautiful floral note to the ensemble.

    The pastry is of the rustic type. It’s made with semolina flour and enriched with lard, resulting in a saturated, textured dough that is surprisingly easy to work with and that crisps up to perfection when deep-fried. That said, you can replace lard with olive oil if you like.

    Young sheep’s milk cheese (primosale), of the kind that feels soft and giving to the touch and that tastes slightly tangy but not salty, is what makes the filling. If you can’t find it, opt for something similar in flavour and texture, even if it’s made with cow’s milk.

    Finally, the honey. Corbezzolo honey is traditional and worth seeking out if you’re feeling adventurous it has a peculiar – almost bittersweet – flavour that pairs beautifully with the cheese. Alternatively, chestnut honey is also traditional, but a tad sharp-tasting. If you prefer milder honeys, acacia is a good bet.


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