I highly recommend these pasticcini,
which are actually raisin muffins, to anyone who wants to make the
quickest, most delicious and foolproof pastry to serve for breakfast,
coffee or tea.
My dear friend May Amfitheatrof, whose English mother and
Russian-Italian composer husband accounted for her name and
cosmopolitan nature, used to make these pasticini from her hometown
for our afternoon teas when she lived in Los Angeles. I owe her this
recipe and much more.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter and egg mixture. Roll Raisins in a little flour and stir them into batter. Butter and flour a muffin pan. Place 2 tbsp. mixture in each of a dozen cups. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
The dough for paticcini can also be used to make marble cake, doubling the measurements. Add 2 heaping tbsp. cocoa to half the dough. Spoon it into a 9" buttered and floured baking pan, alternating it with spoonfuls of the other half, run a knife through to give it a marbled effect. The oven temperature is the same as for the pastry, but the baking time is longer - about 40 minutes.
Doing some more experimenting with this basic recipe, I found another use for it is with fresh peaches, plums or apples (peeled). Butter and flour a 9" inch (round) pan and fill it with about 1 1/2 " of dough. Place the fruit, cut in wedges, on the dough in two circles , and bake at 325 degrees for about 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown. As the dough rises, it will cover a good part of the fruit, creating a very pretty pattern.