Theresa’s St. Joseph’s Cakes

With this comprehensive and considerate recipe, Theresa Greco proves that we can take a girl out of South Philly but cannot as easily take South Philly out of the girl. A product of the 900 block of Dudley Street, the Arizona resident reminds readers to revere all the Joes, Joeys, and Josephs on our journeys through her St. Joseph’s Cakes submission.

The former East Passyunk Crossing inhabitant shares her passion for delicious food and a healthy lifestyle through The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine, where this explanation and many others appear. Try your hand at duplicating her feat, and you will more than likely genuflect with joy. ■

italian pastry cream:

1-1/2 quarts of milk

12 ounces of granulated sugar

2 ounces of cornstarch

3 ounces of bread flour

4 ounces of whole eggs

2 ounces of egg yolks

A pinch of salt

3 ounces of butter

2 teaspoons of vanilla

directons for the cream:

Combine the milk with six ounces of sugar, and bring to a boil. Unite the rest of the sugar, the cornstarch, flour, and salt in a separate container. Add the eggs and egg yolks, and mix until smooth.

Add the mixture to the milk, and return to a boil. Remove from the heat, and add the butter and vanilla. Pour onto a pan, cover, and refrigerate until cool. This will yield approximately 4-1/2 pounds of cream.

pastry dough:

1 cup of water

3 tablespoons of butter

1/2 teaspoon of sugar

A pinch of salt

1 cup of flour

4 eggs

1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Maraschino cherries

drections for the dugh:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and combine the water, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and remove from the heat. Use a wooden spoon to beat in the flour and lemon peel all at once.

Return to low heat. Continue to beat until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the side of the pan. Remove from the heat. One at a time, beat in the eggs, doing so after each addition, until smooth. Continue the process until the dough is satiny and breaks in strands. Allow to cool.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag with a large star tip. Pipe a 2-1/2-inch spiral on the baking sheet for each pastry. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove, and allow to cool before filling.

Photo by Theresa Greco