Recipe: Pasta Ciotti Italian Custard-Filled Dessert Tarts

Summary: Pasta Ciotti are small Italian custard-filled dessert tarts. The word ‘pasta’ is Italian for dough and in this case it refers to a sweet dough. Pasta Ciotti are a nice addition to a cookie tray or as a small after-dinner pastry with a cup of espresso or cappuccino. Also see Alternate Filling Options at the bottom of the page! 


    • Pastry Dough
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • Filling
    • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1-1/2 cups half and half or whole milk
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
    • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

For instructions please visit:


Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

Alternate Filling Options

Chocolate Filling:
Stir 2-3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips into the half and half mixture and bring it to a boil.
Use almond or vanilla extract.

Limoncello Filling:
Stir 1 tablespoon Limoncello into the filling in place of the almond extract.

Orange Filling:
Stir 1 tablespoon orange liqueur and a teaspoon of grated orange zest into the filling in place of the almond extract.