Christmas: custard, mascarpone, citrus – Italian Cuisine

English cream, elegant. Mascarpone cream, as sumptuous as a velvet. Citrus cream, fresh and spicy. Here are the three timeless divas who will contribute to the glory of panettone and pandoro

Raise your hand if you do not like to accompany the slice of panettone with a delicious English cream or make the Pandoro with the sumptuous mascarpone cream! Simple to make spoon creams, perfect to accompany the sweet moment of dessert during the holidays. Then decide whether to simply serve them in the same saucer or in an original way – in layers or stuffed. Directly from our kitchen to your table for Christmas, New Year or when you want to warm your heart in sweetness in the company of friends, relatives, or…. even alone, for incurable gluttons!

English cream

To make the custard, heat 750 g of milk with the seeds of a vanilla pod, until almost boiling.

Meanwhile, beat 6 egg yolks with 120 g of sugar, stirring until dissolved.

Pour the milk over the eggs and bring everything back to the heat.

Cook, stirring until reaching a temperature of 82-84 ° C.

Turn off, pour the cream into a bowl and let it cool, covered, so that the film does not form on the surface.


You can also flavor the custard with cinnamon or citrus peel. For a coffee aroma, heat the milk with a tablespoon of coffee beans, turn off and leave to infuse in the fridge for 12 hours. Filter the milk and heat it to prepare the cream. Alternatively, pour 2 cups of espresso into the milk before adding it to the eggs. For a chocolate flavor, melt 70-100 g of chopped chocolate in the freshly prepared cream.

Mascarpone cream

Using a whisk, whisk 4 egg yolks together with 80 g of sugar, until they are frothy.

Mix 500 g of mascarpone with 2-3 tablespoons of rum.

Pour the whipped egg yolks into the mascarpone and mix gently.

Whisk 2 egg whites until stiff and incorporate them into the mixture, mixing from bottom to top to keep the cream soft.


The cream can also be prepared without egg whites: it will have a less airy and more velvety consistency. If you prefer to avoid eggs altogether, mix 150 g of fresh cream with the flavored mascarpone, whipped with 120 g of powdered sugar. For a firmer consistency (suitable for fillings) add 10 g of gelatin sheets, soaked and melted in a saucepan, to the mascarpone. Warning: the mascarpone must be at room temperature, otherwise the jelly will set. Fill the cake and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Citrus cream

Prick 2 mandarins and 250 g of kumquat (Chinese mandarin) with a toothpick, place them in a saucepan covered with water and bring to a boil.

Remove the water and repeat the operation.

Then cut them into small pieces, including the skins, removing the stones.

Put about 450 g of these citrus fruits back into a saucepan with 100 g of sugar, 200 g of water and a piece of cinnamon.

Cook for about 35 minutes.

Remove the cinnamon and blend everything with an immersion blender or in a glass blender.


You can prepare the cream with different citrus fruits, assorting them according to your taste. You can also flavor it with cloves, vanilla, star anise or with a liqueur such as Grand Marnier. If you want a less intense flavor and a more velvety texture, add half a peeled apple in the last cooking phase.

Two ways to cut and stuff

Layered: Both the panettone and the pandoro can be cut into horizontal sections, to be stuffed between one layer and the other and then reassembled. Once filled, large desserts should be put to consolidate in the refrigerator, in order to be able to cut them into slices.

Emptied: Penetrate the base of the panettone with the knife, 2-3 cm from the edge, and cut a cylinder inside up to under the "hat". Then insert the blade flat on the side, under the "hat". Move it left and right, without widening the hole, to detach the cylinder. Take it out and cut a 2-3 cm thick disc. Fill the panettone with ice cream or cream (with jelly) and close with the disc. Put it in the freezer or in the fridge for 4 hours. Take it out 30 minutes before serving.

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