A typical pastry from Santo Stefano Quisquina, Sicily.  The recipe was provided by Giuseppe Nicoletta.
Makes 6 dozen

8 Cups  flour, all-purpose
7-1/8  ounces shortening
2/3  pound sugar
7/8  ounce  baking powder
1     cup warm water

1 cup  sugar
1-3/4  ounces  cinnamon
2  tablespoons   water

1-1/2  cups  roasted almonds (chopped)

3/4  cup sugar
1/4  cup flour, all-purpose
1/4  teaspoon salt
1-1/2  cups milk
6 whole egg yolks
1-1/2  teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2  cups heavy whipping cream


In a large bowl with a pastry blender, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coases crumbs.  Add the sugar and sprinkle in warm water a little at a time, mixting lightly with a fork after addition until pastry just holds together.  With hands, knead until smooth, adding water so that pastry is soft.  Cut pastry in 2 to 3 pieces and on a lightly-floured surface with a floured rolling-pin, roll pastry into 1/8-inch thick sheets.  Cut with a knife into rectangles.  Wrap each rectangle into a cylinder shaped mould (small wood dowel) and bake for 10 to 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F, or until golden. 


In medium-sized saucepan, melt sugar and cinnamon with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water.  Stir constantly.  Syrup should result smooth and SLIGHTLY thick.


In 2-quart saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt; stir in 1-1/2 cups of milk.  Over medium heat, cook and stirring until the mixture thickens and boils, about 10 minutes, boil about 1 minute.  In small bowl with a fork, beat 6 eggs yolks slightly.  Beat a small amount of milk mixture (sugar, flour, salt and milk) into yolks, then slowly pour the egg mixture back into the milk mixture, while stirring.

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until the mixture thickens and coats a spoon well, about 8 minutes (DO NOT BOIL).  To check thickness, lift spoon from mixture and hold 15 seconds, the spoon should not show through the mixture.  When done, remove from heat and stir in 1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.  Cover surface with plastic wrap, then chil custard mixturel well, about 2 hours.

In a small bowl with a mixer a medium speed, beat 1-1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream until peaks form.  With a ribber spatula, gentle fold whipped cream into custard mixture.  Fill "cciarduna" with the pastry cream.  Dip each piece into the cinnamon syrup and then roll into chopped-roasted almonds.

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