Named after the Italian word for a bite, "boccone", these little pastries are made of sweet shortcrust pastry and filled with jam, custard or ricotta, depending on where you find them in the South. In Puglia's beautfiul Martina Franca area, they are often filled with either pastry cream or quince jam -- I've used the latter, but you can also use sour cherry jam (popular in southern Puglia) or whatever takes your fancy. —Emiko
(250 grams) all purpose flour
(110 grams) sugar
stick (½ cup or 125 grams) of cold butter, diced
large (not jumbo) whole egg plus 1 yolk, beaten (save the white for brushing on top of the pastry for a shiny crust)
zest of one lemon, finely grated
(560 grams or 20 ounces) quince jam (or sour cherry jam or pastry cream)
Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the cold butter into the flour and sugar by pulsing the processor or, if using hands, rub the butter into the flour until you get a crumbly mixture and there are no more visible butter pieces. Mix in the beaten egg and the yolk along with the lemon zest until the pastry comes together into a smooth, elastic ball. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until about 3mm (1/10 inch) thick. Cut 8 discs about 3 3/4-4 inches in diameter (9.5-10cm) -- I use a bowl I have about this size across the widest part, flip it over onto the rolled out dough and trace around it. Fill a muffin tray or ramekins with the pastry discs, pressing them down gently to be smooth and even. Prick the base with the tines of a fork.
Fill the pastries (I used roughly 1/4 cup or a couple tablespoons) with jam.
Gather together the leftover dough and roll it back out to 3mm thickness. Cut out discs to cover exactly the top of the pastries (mine were about 3 1/4 or 8cm in diameter).
Beat the leftover egg white and brush some over the edges of the pastries before putting the discs on top. Press down the edges very gently to seal and, if desired, you can brush the egg white on the top of the pastries too, this will give them a bit of shine, if you are going to serve them without a dusting of powdered sugar.
Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180C/350F for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and crisp.
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.