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Old Italian pastry recipes - Page 2

post #31 of 44

Hi Dominick:

                     Yes ... the pastry you are describing is, in fact, called a Paragini Pastry in Italian American pastry shops.  In Italy this same pastry is called Il Diplomatico and uses Alchermes Liquor instead of Rum Flavoring in a simple syrup which is what Italian American Pastry Shops prefer in this wonderful pastry.

 

The Pastry is like a Napoleon or what Italian American pastry shops called a Neapolitan except that it contains the added bonus of a rum flavoring soaked sponge cake between the Italian Cream (Vanilla Pastry Cream) and puff pastry.   See the image below:

 

Paragini Italian American Pastry

 

CLOSEUP RIGHT SIDE UP.JPG

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post #32 of 44

Hi Domminick, Here is the recipe that I believe you are looking for. :)

 

TORTA DIPLOMATICA

INGREDIENTS
2/3 batch of pasta sfogliata (RECIPE ON BOTTOM OF PAGE)

SPONGE CAKE
4 lg eggs
2 lg egg yolks
pinch salt
3/4C sugar
1C All Purpose flour

RUM SYRUP
1/4C sugar
1/3C water
3T dark rum

PASTRY CREAM FILLING
1/2C currants or golden raisins
3T dark rum
1C milk
1/4C sugar
3lg egg yolks
pinch salt
3T All Purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter

confectioners’ sugar for dusting

PUFF PASTRY
Roll out the sfogliata dough on a floured surface into a 10 by 15 inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 2 rectangles each 10 by 7 ½ inches then roll each into a 10 inch square. Pierce the squares of dough all over with a fork and slide each onto a 10 by 15” pan lined with parchment or buttered wax paper. Chill the layers of dough overnight or several hours

Bake the layers at 350 for about 30 minutes until they are an even, deep golden color. Change the positions several times while cooking so that it is baked evenly. If they begin to puff excessively pierce the bubbles in the dough with a fork so that the layers remain flat. Remove the baked puff pastry layers to a cutting board and cut each layer into a 9” disk. Return the baked disks to the pans and cool. Crumble all the scraps finely to be used for finishing the torta

SPONGE CAKE
Butter a 9” by 2” deep round cake pan and line it with a disk or parchment or wax paper. Cut to fit. Combine the eggs, egg yolks, salt and sugar in a heat proof bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk to mix. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and whisk until warm. About 100 to 105 degrees. Remove the bowl from the pan and whip on high speed with a hand mixer or heavy duty mixer fitted with a whip. Continue whipping until the mixture has lightened in color, cooled and increased about 4 times its original volume. Sift the flour over the egg foam in 3 or 4 additions, folding it in gently but thoroughly with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the layer at 325 for about 30 minutes until it is well risen, firm to the touch and a deep golden brown color. With a knife, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan and invert so your bottom side is now up. Invert again with the parchment still on the bottom of the cake so that your cake is right side up. Wrap in plastic and chill

RUM SYRUP
Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cool and stir in the rum.

PASTRY CREAM
Place the currants or raisins in a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, drain, and pour into a bowl and cover with rum. Allow to stand at room temperature while preparing the pastry cream. Bring the milk to a boil with half the sugar. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with salt and whisk in the remaining sugar. Sift the flour over the yolk mixture and whisk it in smoothly. When the milk boils, whisk 1/3rd of it into the yolk mixture. Return the remaining milk to a boil and whisk in the yolk mixture. Continue to whisk until the cream thickens and comes to a boil. Whisk constantly to prevent scorching. Scrape the cream into a clean bowl. To finish the filling beat the butter on medium speed until soft and light. Beat in the cooled pastry cream all at once then continue beating until the filling is smooth and light. Stir in the rum and currants (or raisins) by hand.

ASSEMBLY

Place one of the puff pastry disks onto a cardboard or platter. Spread with half the pastry cream filling. Moisten the top of the sponge cake with half of the rum syrup using a brush. Place the cake layer on the filling top side down. Moisten the other side with the remaining syrup. Spread the remaining filling on top. Top with remaining filling. Spread the filling that’s on the SIDES of the cake all around as if you were icing the side of a cake. Then press the scraps from the puff pastry on the side and dust with confectioners’ sugar

*****************************************************

Pasta Sfogliata
(Italian puff pastry)

Ingredients

DOUGH
2C AP flour
1t Salt
4 T unsalted butter, softened
1/3C white wine or white vermouth
1/3C cold water

BUTTER SQUARE
1/4C AP flour
2 sticks COLD butter

DIRECTIONS

For the dough, combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into 3 or 4 pieces and rub it thoroughly into the flour with your fingertips so that no pieces of butter remain visible make sure that the mixture remains cool and powdery and does not become pasty.

Combine the wine or vermouth with the water. Blend the liquid into the flour and butter mixture with a fork, working the fork, tines up, through the mixture from the bottom of the bowl upwards being careful NOT to stir, which would toughen the dough. Once all of the flour and butter mixture is evenly moistened it will look like a mass of rough curds; do not attempt to make the dough smooth. Cover the dough loosely and refrigerate it while preparing the butter square.

For the butter square, spread the remaining flour on a work surface and unwrap the chilled butter onto it. Turn the sticks of butter to coat them with the flour and pound them with a rolling pin to soften them to the point where you can easily make an indentation by pressing with a fingertip. With floured hands, press and squeeze the butter into a rough square, about 4 inches on a side. If the kitchen is warm, refrigerate the butter square while forming the dough that will envelop it.

Scrape off any bits of butter sticking to the work surface and scrape it out on the bowl onto the surface. Press the dough well with the palms of your hands once or twice to make sure all the bits of dough adhere. Flour the dough very lightly and roll it gently into a 5 x 10 inch rectangle.. place the square of butter at the narrow end of the rectangle closer to you and fold the other half of the dough over it.

Turn the package of dough so that the fold is on the left and roll it into a 6 x 12 inch rectangle. This time fold each narrow end of the dough towards the middle and fold again at the middle to make 4 layers.

Wrap the dough loosely in plastic and refrigerate about 1 hour. When you remove the dough from the fridge unwrap it and position it on a floured surface so that the fold is on the left. Flour the dough and roll it again into a 6 by 12 inch rectangle and give it another 4 layer fold. The dough is no finished and needs to rest again for about 3 to 4 hours before you use it to make your dessert 

post #33 of 44

Ah, ok, I don;t know long island.  Oh well. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #34 of 44

Great recipe!Delicious!

post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lasvegaschef1 View Post

I am a Chef and do not bake (with good results). I am also a lover of Italian cakes, cookies & pastries.  My years of cooking and studying in Italy enabled me to make a great tiramisu -no cooking required. That is the extent of my "non savory cooking".   Canoli is something I grew up eating and learing to love.  The local Italian baker, Peter, spoke no English.  He was right "off the boat" and made the best  Italian pastry and cake I have ever eaten in my 50+years.  His canoli still has never been duplicated in my mind.  He also made fanstic baba au rum pastry and a rum cake that I remember my parents raving over.  Once I turned 18- I was allowed to eat a full piece of his rum cake.  Wow- what a memory.  All homemade fresh ingredients, no "cool whip or boxed pudding", Peter was one of a kind.  When I turned thirty, I went back to my old neighborhood to find Peter and get some pastry.  He was gone, the neighborhood had changed.  All I have  are my memories and the desire to someday find out what happened to him and his bake shop.  

 




I know the feeling exactly.  It is kind of depressing and a feeling of loss.  You sometimes wish you had gone back earlier, perhaps you could have recaptured those feelings and connected with people you knew.  A real feeling of loss and of being left behind. Anyway that's how I've felt in going back to my old neighbourhoods.

You Need Degas to Make De Van Gogh
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You Need Degas to Make De Van Gogh
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post #36 of 44

Hello Everyone,

Just found this site and am so happy to be a new member!

Dominick's query is what got me interested, although I notice his last post on this thread was in 2008. I hope he's well (he mentions getting ill) and will check back because I might know to what he is referring! I am from Boston and my favorite Italian pastry shop is "Mike's" on Hanover Street in the North End, Boston's "Little Italy."  They make a wonderful pastry called "Paragina" (which translates to "The Parisian Girl") which is as Dominick described above---first pastry leaves, then Italian sponge doused in rum flavoring, a sweet Italian yellow pastry cream, another layer of all the above topped by the pastry leaves and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Although I love the version at Mike's, there is a good-natured rivalry in the North End that says "Modern Pastry" just down a couple of blocks, makes the best Paragini. You'll all have to come up to Boston and do your own taste test!  BTW: When I visited New York's "Little Italy" a few years ago and stopped at the famous Ferrara bake shop, what they called a "Paragina" was anything but the wonderful pastry that I described from Boston. Additionally, Dominick mentions a pastry called Napolitan.  I think he's referring to a "Napoleon" which, although a French dessert, has been borrowed (and improved upon, she says with some partisanship)  by Italian bakeries all over.  The problem is that as many bakeries as there are there are that many Italian variations.  Anyway, I've enjoyed reading all your comments and will check back from time to time.  My Nonna was a professional recipe developer for a major gourmet food company now long gone, and taught me all her secrets. Perhaps I'll be able to share some of them with you in the times ahead...Ciao for now!

post #37 of 44

I believe the pastry you are talking about is called an Italian Napolean! 

 

http://www.lucibellospastry.com/pastries/pastry7.jpg

 

It is puff pastry, PASTRY cream, white sponge cake that gets rum syrup brushed onto it, then more pastry cream and then another layer of puff pastry. I make it at the Italian bakery where I work.

 

The pastry cream you can find a recipe for online, white cake is easy to make (use a box if you must), the puff pastry you can probably just purchase at a grocery store in the freezer section and just cook it in the oven before assembling. :)  Then just shake powdered sugar on top.  OH and the rum syrup would just be a simple syrup (water/sugar boiled on stove till boiling) then take off stove and add any rum you like, usually a dark rum.  Let me know if this is what you wanted. :)

 

 

post #38 of 44

 

@ Italian Baker,

 

Thanx for posting the pastries ... and photo. They sound delicious and can certainly stimulate one´s appetite. I shall try out the next time we have dinner guests.

 

Margcata.

post #39 of 44
Hi .
post #40 of 44

Hello Dominick

 

I'm very familiar with the North End, my grandparents and mother lived there before my grandfather moved them to Medford. Actually the name of the pastry you're looking for is a padigina.  I was up in Boston last week and bought some at the Modern.  The top is a layer similar to a puff pastry topped with powdered sugar and it is filled with a rum soaked sponge cake and the Italian Pastry cream.  I live in Virginia and Boston is the only place I know where you can buy them.  I do have good recipe for the pastry cream if you want to try.

 

Helena

post #41 of 44

Helena, you may have heard the rolled R in Parigina as a D (or maybe someone transliterated what they heard from someone else, and wrote it with the d.    Padigina is not a likely italian name, but parigina (meaning "Parisian") would make sense. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #42 of 44

Hi Siduri

 

The reason I spelled it with a "d" is because that's how it's spelled on the signs at the Modern Pastry and Mike's in the North End in Boston.

post #43 of 44

Hi Nonna

 

I just found this site too, love it.   I was in Boston last week and I thought the written sign at the Modern spelled it with a d,  I'll check when I'm there in December.  You're right about the Modern,  theirs are the "best".  I grew up in East Boston and used to buy them at a pastry store that is long gone.  I'm going to be in NYC in Nov,  will have to stop at Ferraras and check out.  Where do you live in the Boston area?

post #44 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ht2249 View Post
 

Hi Siduri

 

The reason I spelled it with a "d" is because that's how it's spelled on the signs at the Modern Pastry and Mike's in the North End in Boston.

Figured.  Most italian americans are second generation and have never written italian or read it, so they transliterate what they remember their grandmothers saying, or the deformation when their parents said it.  So since Modern Pastry was around when even I was a kid 60 years ago, i presume the current owners have never seen the original spelling.  I always laugh when i go back to see how things are written - capicola for capocollo comes to mind. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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