I’m excited yet again. As part of the new series on egg yolk recipes I have another guest to share with you: my friend Manu, creator of Manu’s Menu.
For those of you who have yet to discover Manu’s site, you are in for a treat. She not only prepares the most incredible Italian dishes but shares her tips and takes us through all the steps needed to produce perfect Italian recipes: from Busiati, Strozzapreti and Panzerotti to Chiacchiere and Sicilian Cannoli. Couldn’t you just sing these titles?
Today she’s going to show us how to make the most delicious Italian pastries using your egg yolks. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to make at least double quantities! Now sit back and imagine the scene: tasting these pastries warm from the oven with a cappuccino outside a Pasticceria on a sun-kissed day in Italy, watching the world go by. Before I lapse into dream-land, let me introduce you to Manu herself…
I was born and brought up in Milan, Italy by Sicilian parents. I moved to Australia in 2006 with my husband who is Australian, but of Indian origin… so you can say that we are a “multi cultural family” and that is often reflected in what we eat.
I come from a family of artists… almost everyone on my father’s side is a painter! I guess I am more artistic with a pot than a canvas… but I still think cooking is an art! I have inherited the love for cooking from my parents and many of my recipes have been passed down from generations. I have started my blog as a way to keep our family traditions alive and to spread the concepts of authentic homemade Italian cuisine in the world.
When Jill asked me to write a guest post for MadAboutMacarons.com I was so honoured and excited: I still am relatively new to blogging and this is my first ever guest post! Thank you Jill! From the moment I got her invite, I started thinking about what recipe I could share that uses as many egg yolks as possible, so that you can save all the egg whites for some of Jill’s fantastic macarons.
In the end I chose to write about a traditional Sicilian sweet: genovesi. 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 4 genovesi… you can easily make a double dose and you can store them in an airtight container for a couple of days. Now you will have even more egg whites for your macarons!
(adapted from Maria Grammatico’s recipe – from the book “Bitter Almonds: Recollections and Recipes of a Sicilian Girlhood” by Mary Taylor Simeti)
Ingredients (makes 4):
For the pastry
125 gms durum wheat flour
125 gms pastry flour (Italian 00) / all purpose flour
100 gms sugar
100 gms butter (or margarine) at room temperature, chopped
2 egg yolks
About 50 ml cold water
For the filling
1 egg yolk
75 gms sugar
30 gms corn flour
250 ml milk
½ tsp of lemon zest, grated
How to make the pastry (Note: this dough keeps well up to a week in the fridge and even 1 month in the freezer)
Put the 2 different types of flour, sugar, butter and egg yolks in a mixer with a dough hook and knead for a couple of minutes, adding the water little by little till the dough looks crumbly and comes together when pressed between your fingers (you can also do this step by hand).
Then put it on a floured surface and knead it quickly until the dough comes together into a smooth ball. Do not over work it or the pastry will come out hard.
Wrap the dough in cling wrap and put it in the fridge to “rest” for at least 30 minutes.
How to make the lemony custard filling (Note: this custard keeps well up to 3 days in the fridge)
Put the egg yolk and sugar in a pot and whisk well by hand or by using an electric mixer. Dissolve the corn flour in a quarter of the milk and then incorporate it to the remaining milk. Stir well and add the milk to the beaten egg yolk little by little and incorporate it while whisking continuously.
Put the pot on the fire and cook the cream on a very low flame (stirring continuously) for about 12 minutes or until it thickens. It needs to become as thick as a pudding.
Stir in the grated lemon zest, cover with some cling wrap (make sure that the cling wrap sits directly on the cream to prevent a skin from forming) and keep aside to cool down.
Roll the dough into a ½ cm thick sheet and cut 8 circles of 10 cm of diameter. You can do this either with a cutter or by using a ramkin and cutting along the edges with a knife.
Put 2 tablespoons of custard in the centre of 4 of the circles and cover them with the other 4 circles.
Press the sides with your fingers to close the genovesi well.
Bake in a preheated fan forced oven at 220°C for 7 minutes or until golden. Do not over cook or the genovesi will harden.
When ready, put them on a rack to cool down slightly and then sprinkle them with icing sugar. They are best served lukewarm with a cup of tea, coffee or cappuccino.
Enjoy and remember that you can make a double dose, as you can keep the genovesi in an airtight container for a couple of days
A huge thank you to Manu for inspiring us with such a delicious recipe using our egg yolks. Don’t forget to drop in to say hello for me at Manu’s blog, Manu’s Menu and enjoy many more of her Italian treats!