This Genovesi pastry is a Sicilian dessert from Erice. It is a hill-shaped sweet made of a thin shortcrust pastry filled with custard and dusted with icing sugar. It is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Genovesi Pastry

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

Maria Grammatico is a woman who, due to her father’s death 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 confectionery art. 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. If you are in Erice, enter Maria Grammatico’s pastry shop. Don’t just buy these treats; I encourage you to taste the almond paste desserts.

Genovesi Pastry

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

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, castles, and the mighty defensive walls that still surround it today.


From this imposing fortress, you can enjoy a breathtaking view and 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. 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.


 This population fortified Erice from unwelcome people and built a temple honoring 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).

Genovesi Pastry

Genovesi Pastry-Sicilian Dessert from Erice

Prep Time 40 mins Cook Time 8 mins Rest Time 1 hr Total Time 1 hr 48 mins Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 8 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Genovesi pastry is a Sicilian dessert known for its sweet and creamy filling inside a delicate, crumbly pastry shell.


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Shortcrust Pastry

Crema Pasticcera (Pastry Cream)


Shortcrust Pastry

    • Put the cold butter cut into small pieces on a pastry board with the sifted flour, sugar, and baking powder. Work everything with your hands until it becomes grainy.
    • Form a hole in the center of the sand, add the egg yolks one at a time, and knead until everything is combined.
    • If the dough is too hard and dry, add cold water slowly until you get a smooth and homogeneous dough.
    • 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)

    • Put the milk with the scraped vanilla pod in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil.
    • Remove the pan from the stove and filter the milk.
    • Separately, pour the egg yolks, vanilla caviar, sugar, and grated zest into a bowl and whisk vigorously until completely combined.
    • Add the cornstarch sieved in when the mixture is blended and stir well to incorporate it.
    • Pour the milk into the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch mixture.
    • 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).
    • The cream will have a strong egg smell if it is cooked too much.
    • Remove the cream from the stove as soon as it starts to thicken.
    • 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.
    • The pastry cream would be ready for use; otherwise, cover it with plastic wrap that touches the surface of the cream, let it cool at room temperature, and then refrigerate.


    • 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).
    • Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of custard in the center of each disc.
    • Cover with another disc, seal everything with your fingers, and trim the edges with a pastry wheel.
    • Bake the Genovesi in a preheated oven at 200°C (392°F) until golden brown (about 10 minutes).
    • Once removed from the oven, sprinkle the pastries with plenty of icing sugar and serve when hot enough.


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

Keywords: Genovesi Pastry
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