Home made pastizzi

I adore Pastizzi. But living away from Malta means I have had to improvise. I do, in fact, make my own on occasion.  The trickiest bit is the pastry. The extra-crisp puff pastry takes work; I have to confess, most times I just use really good quality shop bought puff. It is not the same. But it is much quicker.

When I do have time, I follow this recipe. Important note is everything needs to be cold including the dough itself. Another key point, never turn the pastry over but keep it flat and turn it clockwise or anti clockwise but always the same way! I have to say, I find it quite a fiddle from scratch, so don’t make it very often but each time I’ve done it, it’s turned out better and I say I should do it again. It has that better crispness that ‘real’ pastizzi do!

Sorry – old fashioned ounces here! The recipe is adapted from ‘Taste of Malta’ by Claudia Caruana. 

Ingredients for pastizzi pastry

  • 8oz plain, unbleached organic flour – sifted from a height a couple of times with a pinch of salt.
  • 6 oz unsalted butter
  • 7-8 tablespoons iced water


  • Sift flour and salt together into a bowl.
  • Chop the butter into half inch squares and drop them into the flour keeping the squares intact
  • Mix carefully so each square is covered in flour.
  • Add the ice water slowly and mix with a palette knife, still keeping the cubes intact.
  • If there is loose flour, add another teaspoon of water until its all mixed into a very loose dough.
  • Sprinkle some more flour on the dough and working surface and gently roll the dough until it is about 8 inches long and 5 inches wide.

Follow the steps below – exactly As Claudia says!

  1. Fold lower third toward the top.  Then fold the upper third toward the bottom so you have a series of three rectangles. Use the rolling pin to apply gentle pressure to seal the edges.
  2. Remove any extra flour – turn the folded dough counter clockwise so the old right hand side is on top. Roll the dough again lightly until it is about 9 inches long and 6 inches wide.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2
  4. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and cool in the fridge for about 30-45 minutes
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 another four times! 

Dough is now ready to use and will make about 16 pastizzi give or take a couple.

It takes a while as I’ve said, but it is really good. I keep meaning to try making a double batch and freezing one, so I can defrost and make a batch when I want too as we don’t often eat the lot. They freeze well once made up and cooked too (I just slightly under brown so when I reheat they don’t burn)

As for a filling, our favourite at home is ricotta and spinach; mix a tub of ricotta, one egg, a bunch of cleaned spinach, wilted, drained and chopped, with salt and pepper and a pinch of chilli. Add a tablespoon to a square of pastizzi dough and seal the edges.

Chill for 30 minutes, then brush with egg wash and pop into a hot oven (400f / GM 7-8) for about 50 minutes until crisp and browned.

They are perfect.

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