PUSTIES (aka, pasticciotti)
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- 6 c
- all purpose flour
- 1 tsp
- baking powder
- 1 c
- lard (broken, cut, or shaved into small pieces)
- 1/2 c
- unsalted butter (broken, cut, or shaved into small pieces)
- 2/3 c
- light or dark brown sugar
- 2/3 c
- 1/4 c
- 1/2 c
- 2 c
- whole milk
- 1 c
- heavy cream
- large eggs
- 2/3 c
- 3 Tbsp
- 2 tsp
- vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp
- pustie tins
- pizza or baking stone
- rolling pin
- flour (for dusting work surface)
- egg yolks (beaten)
- pastry brush
- sugar (for sprinkling)
THE VANILLA CUSTARD
FOR CHOCOLATE CUSTARD, ADD ½ C COCOA POWDER AND OMIT NUTMEG.
In a large bowl, add baking powder, lard, butter, and 3 cups flour. Mix together with your hands, as you would a pie crust. Add sugars (brown & white) and mix further.
2In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, water, and honey. Beat well.
3Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients (in the bowl containing the flour, baking powder, lard, and butter). Pour the egg mixture into the center and mix well with hands.
4Continue adding flour ½ cup at a time and mix well until your reach the perfect consistency, not to sticky, yet not too dry/crumbly. You may or may not need all 6 cups of flour.
5Knead for a few minutes, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rest in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
NOTE: This makes enough dough for forty (40) pusties (assuming 3.5 inch diameter pusty tin).
Heat milk and cream in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming. Be careful not to let it boil, or you’ll have a mess on your hands.
7Whisk together eggs, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt in bowl.
Whisk steaming milk and cream into egg and cornstarch mixture in slow, steady stream.
8Return egg and milk mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon and scraping bottom of pan.
9When custard begins to thicken and clump at the bottom of the saucepan, toss aside the wooden spoon and grab a whisk. Continue whisking the custard (breaking up the clumps at the bottom of the pan) until it thickens to the point that the whisk leaves a “trail” in the custard. Or, stated another way, keep whisking until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and you can draw a line through it with your finger. Be careful not to over-thicken.
10Remove from heat, pour into a bowl and cool to room temperature.
NOTE: This will make enough custard for ten (10) pusties.
Place pizza stone on middle rack. Heat oven (and stone) at 500F for one hour. Seriously, let that stone heat for the full hour.
12Break off little “meatball” of dough. On a lightly floured surface, use rolling pin to roll out dough into a thin round of 1/4 inch thickness. Place rolled-out dough round into pusty tin. Use thumbs to press dough into bottom and sides of the tin. Remove excess, overhanging dough.
13Fill pustie with custard of choice. But don’t overfill it! Leave a half inch or so of breathing room. Both the custard and the dough will plump in the oven, so overfilling will cause the lid (described in Step 6 below) to crack and/or separate from the base.
14Roll out another little “meatball” of dough into a thin round. This will be the pustie’s “lid.” Cover pustie top with lid of dough, crimp with fingers to seal, and remove excess, overhanging dough. Place a little “button” of dough in the center of each vanilla pustie’s lid, so that you can tell the vanilla ones from the chocolate.
15Brush top of pustie with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Then, using a paring knife, poke three slashes into the pustie’s lid so that steam can escape during baking.
16Repeat Steps 3 through 7 until you’ve prepared enough pusties to fill a baking pan.
When you’re ready to bake, lower the oven temperature to 450F
17Cover baking pan full of pusties with aluminum foil and place directly onto heated baking stone. Bake for approximately 5 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes, until the sides and bottoms of the pusties are golden brown. There’s nothing worse than a doughy, undercooked pustie. A lot of people screw up perfectly good pusties by removing them from the oven too soon. You can’t judge a pustie’s doneness by the color of the lid. The lid will brown well before the bottom and sides, so don’t freak out. Those pusties need to stay in the oven until the bottom and sides are browned. The foil on top for the first 5 minutes will help get the bottom and sides going before the top starts to brown. Let cool and remove from tins. Give the tins a gentle squeeze and the pusties should fall right out because of the lard in the dough.