Castagnole - The Italian Custard Doughnuts

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pastry Cream Filler:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup melted butter at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of rum
  • the zest of half a lemon, finely chopped
  • frying oil
  • powdered sugar to dust the castagnole


Pastry Cream Filler:
  1. Place half the sugar in a mixing bowl and mix with the cornstarch.
  2. Slowly add the eggs and yolks and mix until all is incorporated.
  3. Bring milk, cream, the rest of the sugar and scraped vanilla bean to a boil over medium heat.
  4. Add half the hot liquid to the yolk mixture.
  5. Place this back into the rest of the cream and place over medium heat and bring to a rolling boil while whisking very fast.
  6. The pastry cream should be a little thick.
  7. Whisk for 2-3 minutes over medium high heat and then transfer to a bowl.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator before piping into castagnoles
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together, except the zest, and sieve them together into a bowl.
  2. Add eggs, rum butter and zest and mix till you have a soft smooth dough. Knead for a few minutes.
  3. Cutting a piece of dough at a time, roll the dough to form 2 cm thick cylinders.
  4. Cut the cylinders in pieces of the size of a large cherry and roll them between your hands to form little balls.
  5. Meanwhile start heating the oil, in a fryer if you have one or into a deep pot.
  6. The oil is ready when it reaches between 160 and 170C.
  7. If the oil is too hot the castagnole will brown too quickly leaving the center half cooked.
  8. Once the oil is ready fry a few castagnole at a time (to avoid cooling the oil too much) till golden brown and puffed up.
  9. Drain on paper towels and let cool.
  10. Dust with confectioner sugar
  11. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a round tube with the pastry cream. Pipe a small amount into the center.

Note: Makes around 40 fritters, You also could use a chocolate filling (fill them with Nutella works good!) instead of the custard.

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