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Puddings and Creams
Choux pastries
Crema Pasticcera ( Traditional Italian Lemon-Flavored Pastry Cream)
Originated from: Casacalenda, Molise, Italy
Occasion: Weddings and other very special events
Contributed by: Rosina Melfi

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8 egg yolks
4 cups of milk
6 tablespoons of sugar
6 tablespoons of flour
A big chunk of lemon peel

Zest of 1 lemon for extra flavoring


Mix milk with egg yolks.

Mix sugar and flour.

Add the mixture of milk and egg yolks to the mixed sugar and flour and stir well.

Strain the resulting liquid and place in the double boiler which has been heated through.

Cook until the liquid is nicely thickened and has the look of pastry cream.

Remove lemon peel from the pastry cream.

For those who like a strong lemon flavor lemon zest can be folded into the pastry cream at this point.

Cool the custard by placing the bottom of the double boiler in cold water.

Keep in the fridge until you need to use it for choux pastry or for whatever other reason you like.


Photo by the contributor's niece, Mary Melfi, who found that using a hand-held electric blender (off the heat) instead of a wooden spoon made this cream (or custard, actually) very easy to do, except Mary did find that she had to use a touch more flour to make the recipe work. However, Mary did witness her Zia Rosina make the recipe using the above ingredients and the result was magnificent. To top it off her Zia Rosina did not even use an electric hand-held blender -- everything was done by hand. Furthermore, it only took a few minutes for the liquid to thicken and become a custard. Obviously this Zia Rosina has the magic touch, and this amateur photographer does not. In Molise this lemon-flavored custard was often served as a filling for choux pastries. Nowadays, this recipe is possibly known as "crema pasticcera" in Italy.

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