Genovesi Pastry-Sicilian Dessert from Erice

Genovesi Pastry-Sicilian Dessert from Erice
This Genovesi pastry is a Sicilian dessert from Erice.

They are hill-shaped sweets made of a thin shortcrust pastry filled with custard and dusted with icing sugar. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

These sweets are very famous throughout Sicily for their tastiness, they come from Erice, a medieval village, and more specifically were created in the Maria Grammatico pastry shop, located in Erice.

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Genovesi Pastry-Sicilian Dessert from Erice

Maria Grammatico, a woman who, due to the death of her father at a very young age, went to work in the kitchen of the Monastery of San Carlo to help her family financially and managed to conquer the skill of the confectionery art.

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Genovesi Pastry-Sicilian Dessert from Erice

It is hypothesized that the name of these sweet hills covered in white, derived from the shape of the traditional headdress of the Genovesi sailors, who once frequented the area a lot due to the intense commercial relations between Genoa and Trapani.

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Genovesi Pastry-Sicilian Dessert from Erice

If you are in Erice, enter Maria Grammatico’s pastry shop and don’t just buy these treats but I encourage you to taste the almond paste desserts too.

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Genovesi Pastry-Sicilian Dessert from Erice
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Genovesi Pastry-Sicilian Dessert from Erice

In addition to these delicious pastas, you will be particularly be overwhelmed by the beauty of this village.

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Erice – Castello di Venere

Erice is situated 751 m above sea level.

Strolling through the streets of Erice, you will be thrown back in time, due to its narrow alleys, its castles, and the mighty defensive walls that still surround it today.


From this imposing fortress you can enjoy a breathtaking view, a splendid view of the sea and when the days are clear, with a clear and cloudless sky, you can also see the eastern part of Sicily and then admire Etna.

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Erice- View of the sea

This charming village seems to have been founded by the Elimi around the eighth century BC, according to some scholars they are a people from Greece, according to others they were from Anatolia following the destruction of the city of Troy.

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 This population fortified Erice from unwelcomed people, and built a temple in honor of the goddess of love.

In the third century BC, the city passed under the dominion of Rome. After a period of decline and marginalization, it flourished again thanks to the presence of the Arabs first (9th century) and then the Normans (in the 12th century).

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Erice – Torretta Pepoli

Genovesi Pastry-Sicilian Dessert from Erice

Genovesi Pastry-Sicilian Dessert from Erice
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 48 minutes


Shortcrust Pastry

  • 125g flour 00 (1 cup)
  • 125g semolina flour (1 cup)
  • 100g sugar (1/2 cup).
  • 100g butter or margarine (3.50 oz)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 glass of water
  • 2.5g baking powder (1/2 tsp)

Crema Pasticcera (Pastry Cream)

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 125 g sugar (4.4 oz)
  • 45 g corn starch (3 tbsp)
  • 500 ml whole milk (2 cups)
  • 1 scraped vanilla bean
  • 1 grated lemon peel


Shortcrust Pastry

  1. In a pastry board put the cold butter cut into small pieces with the sifted flours, sugar, and the baking powder, work everything with your hands until it becomes grainy.
  2. Form a hole in the center of the sand and add the egg yolks one at a time, and knead until everything is combined.
  3. If the dough is too hard and dry, add a little cold water little by little, until you get a smooth and homogeneous dough.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in cling film, and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.

Crema Pasticcera (Pastry Cream)

  1. Put the milk with the scraped vanilla pod in a small saucepan, and bring it to a boil.
  2. Remove the pan from the stove and filter the milk.
  3. Separately, in a bowl pour the egg yolks, the vanilla caviar, sugar, and the grated zest and whisk vigorously until completely combined.
  4. When the mixture is blended, add the corn starch sieved in, stir well to incorporate it.
  5. Pour the milk into the mixture of egg yolks, sugar, and corn starch.
  6. Put on the stove and stir constantly with a whisk (the egg begins to coagulate at 52 °C (125.6°F) temperature; the cooking is complete at just 67°C (152.6°F).
  7. If it is cooked too much, the cream will have a strong smell of egg.
  8. Remove the cream from the stove as soon as it starts to thicken.
  9. Cool it quickly by pouring it into a cold pan and continue to stir with a whisk bringing it to a temperature below 50°C (122°F), this allows it to maintain the consistency of the cream intact.
  10. The pastry
    cream would be ready for use; otherwise cover with plastic wrap in contact with the surface of the cream, let it finish cooling at room temperature, and then refrigerate.


  1. Roll out the dough until it is about 4 mm (1/8 inches) thick and cut out an even number of discs with a diameter of about 8 cm (3 inches).
  2. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of custard in the center of each disc and cover with another disc, sealing everything around with your fingers and trimming the edges with a pastry wheel.
  3. Bake the Genovesi in a preheated oven at 200°C (392°F) until golden brown (about 10 minutes).
  4. Once taken out of the oven, sprinkle the pastries with plenty of icing sugar and serve when still hot enough.


When you roll out the dough since there is a lot of butter, I suggest you roll it out on a sheet of baking paper and cover it with another one, and then roll it out with a rolling pin. If you see that it is too sticky put it back in the fridge.


Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 224Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 104mgSodium 80mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 1gSugar 17gProtein 4g
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