Pasticciotti Leccesi: By George, They’re Delicious!

December 16, 2014 / Food & Wine
Lecce, Puglia

I knew that George Clooney had great taste when I read that he ordered 2000 pasticciotti for his recent wedding in Venice! I couldn’t agree more that, once you’ve tasted pasticciotti, you will want to share them with all of your friends.

However, like so many regional specialties, pasticciotti Leccesi is a pastry found only in the Salento region of Puglia, specifically in the city of Lecce. Pasticiotto may have origins dating back to the mid-18th century in the village of Galatina but Lecce has declared the pasticciotto as its own.

Pasticciotto is basically a delicate pastry filled with a sweet cream/custard. Variations include lemon and, my personal favorite, chocolate cream. Best eaten fresh and warm with a piping hot cappuccino or perhaps with another local specialty, latte di mandorla (almond milk), pasticciotti are definitely divine!

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In the skilled hands of a master pastry chef, the simple ingredients: flour, lard, sugar, and egg yolks become the delicious sweet dough; and, milk, egg yolks, flour, sugar and lemon peel becomes the creamy filling. The dough is expertly rolled out into a long “log” and divided into perfect sections. Individually molded into the pans, filled with the creamy filling, and then covered on the top with another piece of dough, each is perfectly “pinched” and trimmed, then brushed with egg white. Repeat 200 -250 times!

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Then, into the oven for 10 minutes, cooled, removed from the pan and ready to enjoy. The speed and efficiency is pure art form and brings a whole new appreciation to every bite of this Salento specialty. All I can say is that I’m far more adept at eating than preparing!

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If you’re in Lecce, be sure to drop by Pasticceria Natale, Caffè Alvino, or Luca Capilungo’s Pasticceria to name a few local favorites, and find out for yourself why it has remained a local favorite for centuries.

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Victoria De Maio

by Victoria De Maio

Victoria is a lover of all things Italian! A travel advisor, blogger, writer, tour leader, and published author, she is passionate about traveling to and writing about Italy.

Her book, Victoria’s Travel Tipz Italian Style, is available on Amazon.

Join Victoria for her fabulous unique, boutique tours of Puglia,, and the Italian Riviera.

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11 Responses to “Pasticciotti Leccesi: By George, They’re Delicious!”

  1. Susan Caracciolo Keane

    pasticciotti are one of my very favorite pastries here in NY…although they are not large and oval, but small and round…either form, they are heaven with espresso!

    Reply
  2. Gian Banchero

    Thank you Victoria for bringing pasticiotti to our attention! Anyone wanting a recipe for pasticiotti leccesi need only Google the recipe!

    Reply
  3. Doris Lentz

    What a wonderful reminder of a tasty trip though Puglia!
    Buon Natale to all!

    Reply
  4. Ciao tutti!
    You don’t think I make these at home, do you? I wait til I go back to Lecce to indulge!

    For those of you who would love to try, for many recipes simply google: recipe pastiocciotto
    Enjoy!
    Victoria

    Reply
  5. Judith Kraft O'Connor

    thanks for the link to the recipe…..Very best wishes sent to you for a joyous holiday

    Reply
  6. marianna raccuglia

    Wonderful – So nostalgic for me! When I was young this was my favorite pastry. I like it today, but the taste is not the same as when “Senore Costello made them in the neighborhood bakery. Ah memories! Buon Natale

    Reply
  7. Mary Ellen Gadski

    The Villa Italia bakery in my hometown of Schenectady, NY makes wonderful pasticciotti. How I wish I could pop in to buy some! As someone already noted, the NY versions are round pastries, not oval, and always with vanilla cream. Thank you for showing us how they are made in Lecce.

    Reply

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