Bigne di San Giuseppe Recipe
Bigne di San Giuseppe are typical Roman dessert prepared for St Joseph's day on the 19th of March. These treats can be found in pastry shops of Rome only on this day but you can always prepare them at home.
Their preparation will take some time but you will be rewarded with wonderfully soft, fluffy pastry filled with a thick pastry cream and light dusting of icing sugar.
For preparing bigne we use choux pasty which is deep fried. Bigne are filled with crema pasticcera which is Italian style pastry cream. Our versions of this cream is made from milk and cream, eggs and cornstarch. The grated lemon zest gives some lemon scent to bigne.
We are sure you will enjoy these soft creamy treats along your cappuccino or coffee.
COOKS IN: 1 hours 15 minutes
FOR THE PASTRY CREAM
- 4 egg yolks
- 400 ml milk
- 200 ml cream
- 30 g cornstarch
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
FOR THE BIGNE
- 250 ml water
- 70 g butter
- 30 g caster sugar
- 130 g plain flour
- 4 medium eggs
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- sunflower oil for frying
- icing sugar for dusting
- For pastry cream place the milk, cream and peeled lemon zest in a saucepan to boil. In a glass mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and until you get smooth texture (without any lumps).
- When the milk is boiled, take it from the heat and remove the lemon peel from it. Place a one scoop of the mill into the egg mixture and whisk well. Now place the egg mixture into the milk and cook on the low heat continuously whisking until it thickens (approximatelly 3 minutes). In the end add a tablespoon of vanilla extract.
- Transfer it to a bowl and let it cool, place some plastic wrap directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming as it cools. Refrigerate until cooled.
- For bigne combine water, butter and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat for a moment, add the flour and return to the low heat. Stir continuously until you see the dough come away from the sides of the pan. It should look like a smooth ball of dough.
- Remove from the heat and stir the eggs directly into the saucepan one by one. You can whisk by hand or with electric mixer until the mixture becomes smooth and sticky. Let rest for about 30 minutes.
- Now, fill a medium saucepan with enough oil so that bigne can float. When the oil is heated, scoop a teaspoon of the batter, then use another teaspoon to help scrape the mixture into a ball and drop it carefully into hot oil.
- Cook them slowly over low heat, turning them occasionally, for about 5-6 minutes, or until they are golden and very puffed. If they brown too quickly, the oil is too hot and you need to turn the heat down. During frying they should split partially and begin growing further. Once fried place bigne to drain on a kitchen paper and continue frying the rest of the batter.
- Once all bigne are fried using a piping bag, fill them with chilled pastry cream. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
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