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Coconut Cream Pustie (Pastaciotti) or Chocolate Recipe

While visiting in my home town I had the pleasure of eating a Pastaciotti, ( pustie) that was full of vanilla cream and coconut. I decided to adapt it to my favorite using chocolate pudding and toasted coconut. Absolutely now my favorite way to eat these. Whether you love coconut cream using the vanilla or chocolate pudding, adding toasted coconut makes these over the top! I just love my Italian Upstate Utica, New York heritage, here is another reason why the food there is the best in the world...
 love you Utica ,New York!  

FOR THE TART CRUST:

4 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 lb shortening
1 tablespoon water or more if needed to form dough


You will need special tins, they have fluted edges and are tart tins. Try online and search for pustie tart tins. You will need 12  large or 24 small.

Mix crust ingredient in a large bowl, careful not to work the dough too long, a mix master such with a flat beater works great. Spray each tin with pam spray for easier release.
Roll dough 1/4 inch thick (not to thin) I break 24 pieces of dough evenly up so I have enough tops and bottoms. Roll out, pat down in each tin. Save scraps. Brush the insides edges after filling with pudding with egg wash.

Roll out remaining dough and cut into rounds to fit for the tops of each tin.
Place cooled filling in each pastry-lined pan and cover each with a round of dough.
Paint top of pusties with beaten egg yolk  or the egg whites to seal (do not miss this step of they will leak out) before baking. This is done twice on the edges again on the top.

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes if using the coconut cook on 350 degrees. Cool a few minutes, if they look like they stuck around the edges, take a knife to loosen, pop out of the tins onto wax paper and cool completely right side up.

Fillings Adaptions: When making the filling for coconut cream add 1 cup shredded coconut to the  chocolate or vanilla filling of choice whether you like vanilla or chocolate.  Also toast 1 cup coconut in the oven until light brown and put on top of pusties to garnish.

Homemade pudding below, make this first and completely cool, set aside.

Notes:
You can use boxed Chocolate cooking pudding and add only 1 1/2 cups of milk to a box. You will need two boxed for the whole recipe of one of each flavor.
Add two egg yolks to a box of cooking Vanilla pudding with the 1 1/2 cups of milk and for added flavor a teaspoon of vanilla extract or rum after thickened. This makes a richer pudding. Add the shredded coconut at the end if making coconut cream.

Another variation is to add raspberry jam on the bottom and 1 teaspoon of almond paste on the top, add a little vanilla cooked pudding on top and seal.

Also Lemon cooked pre packaged pudding could be used and as above directions decrease the water to make a thicker pudding by a half cup to package directions.

Homemade version for chocolate or vanilla fillings:

Chocolate:

1 cup white granulated sugar
3 heaping tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 squares (1 ounce each) chocolate, unsweetened I love Bakers Chocolate that's what I use
1 tsp. vanilla

OR Vanilla:

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, beaten well
2 tsp. vanilla or rum


Place sugar and flour in a saucepan. Slowly whisk in milk and egg yolks to incorporate and make smooth . Cook until thick, stirring frequently. Cool, then add vanilla or rum. Stir in coconut if using. Fill bake and garnish with toasted coconut.

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Make sure pudding is thoroughly cooled before filling pusties.

@claudia lamascolo Author

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