Tuesday 14 September 2021

Genovesi ericine custard-filled pastries

60 minutes to prepare Serves 6

Maria Grammatico's heritage


There we go with another traditional Sicilian sweet: genovesi ericine.

They are yummy pastries filled with lemony custard and covered in icing sugar.
The best genovesi are found in the little medieval mountain top town of Erice, near Trapani.
There is a little shop that makes the best sweets ever: beautifully decorated marzipans, almond based biscuits and all sorts of pastries. The owner of this shop, Maria Grammatico, learnt how to make all these traditional treats from the nuns of the convent of San Carlo where she spent her childhood as an orphan. She is a remarkable lady and you can often see her behind the counter of her shop.

This recipe has been adapted from Maria’s original recipe and it makes 6 genovesi. You can easily make a double dose and you can store them in an airtight container for a couple of days. Enjoy!

Here are ingredients for a 6-serving recipe:


For the pastry

125 g flour 00
125 g durum wheat flour
100 g sugar
100 g butter
4 tablespoons water
2 egg yolks

For the stuffing

1 egg yolks
3 egg whites
1/2 lemon zest
250 g  cow milk 
75 g sugar
20 g potato starch

  1. Start preparing the pastry: cut the butter into cubes and place it in a bowl. Add sugar, a pinch of salt and knead it quickly
  2. Stir in the egg yolks, then mix again. Finally add flours, all sifted. Knead it again
  3. Form a ball, wrap it with plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
  4. When we are close to the the 1-hour resting time of the pastry, preheat oven to 200°C
  5. Move on to the filling preparation: pour the milk into a saucepan with the lemon zest and heat it up (no boil)
  6. Meanwhile, beat egg yolk with sugar until stiff for about 15 minutes
  7. Incorporate sifted potato starch to the mixture. Whisk well
  8. Pour everything into the saucepan with the hot milk. Let the custard to thicken over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid lumps
  9. Pour the custard into a bowl and sprinkle with granulated sugar to prevent skin from forming over the surface. Let it cool down
  10. Cut out 12 pastry circles and place half of them on a baking paper covered baking sheet. Their diameter should measure about 12 cm, their thickness 5 mm
  11. Place about 1 tsp full of custard on top of each circle, then cover the circles with their other halves
  12. Using your fingers, lightly press together the top and bottom halves of the pastries, after having brushed the edges with a bit of whisked egg yolks
  13. Place genovesi pastries on the lowest oven shelf and bake at 200°C (fan oven) for 15 minutes, until the tops are golden. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes...and serve while still warm!

Nutrition Facts are detailed in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

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