Bignè di San Giuseppe are cream filled puff pastries traditionally found in any bakery or pasticceria of Italy on March 19th, when Italians celebrate Father’s Day.
In the Catholic tradition, in fact, St. Joseph is considered the patron saint of all fathers and the ideal saint to honor on Father’s Day.
However, these Italian cream puffs make a great dessert anytime of the year and the recipe is relatively easy while intensely delicious.
Ingredients and Instructions:
• 1 cup of all purpose flour
• 1 cup of water
• 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon of sugar
• 1 pinch of salt
• 4 eggs
• 1 teaspoon of Limoncello (lemon liquor)
• powdered sugar for dusting
1. Preheat the oven with the temperature set at 400 F (200 C) and lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. In a medium pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat then, as soon as the water comes to a boil, remove the pot from the heat and quickly stir in the flour until obtaining a smooth mix.
3. Add the butter, the sugar and the salt, then return the pot to the stove over medium heat and keep stirring. Soon the mixture will turn into a ball of dough; keep stirring until that ball no longer sticks to the sides or the bottom of the pot.
4. At this point, remove from the heat and allow cooling for a few minutes.
5. Add the eggs into the dough, one at a time, stirring and incorporating completely before each addition..
6. Stir in the Limoncello, then allow the dough to rest for about 20 minutes.
7. Using an ice cream scoop, place scoop size – leveled not heaping – pieces of dough on a greased cookie sheet, making sure to leave about 2 inches (4-5 cm) between each piece.
8. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 F (175 C) and continue baking for another 20 minutes. They will approximately double in size and turn slightly golden. Turn the oven off and let the pastries slowly cool off in the oven.
9. When cooled, gently cut a small slice off the top of the puff pastries and fill them with crema pasticcera (pastry cream) or custard.
10. Filled them slightly over the top line, then place the cut off pieces back on top of the puffs. Lightly dust the bignè with powdered sugar and enjoy.
Cinzia Aversa, 2014