Testa Di Duka (Turk's Turban)

  • Yield: 8 to 12 servings


1cup flour
1teaspoon sugar
1pinch salt
1tablespoon solid shortening
1/4cup marsala or red wine, plus 2 T more if needed
1/2cup light cooking oil, enough to reach 1
1quart cold milk, divided
1/2cup sugar
2tablespoons flour
2tablespoons cornstarch
1stick cinnamon
2large eggs, beaten
1teaspoon vanilla
1/3cup mini chocolate bits or chocolate shavings
2tablespoons colored sprinkles
1/3cup mini bits of candied fruit (optional)


  1. For the pastry: combine flour, sugar and salt.  Cut shortening into mixture.  Add wine to form pastry-like dough. (Add more wine until pastry reaches desired consistency.)
  2. Roll pastry out to 1/8″ on a lightly floured board.  With fluted pastry wheel, cut dough into strips 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches long.
  3. Pour enough oil to reach a one inch depth in a heavy frying pan.  Heat on medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add a few strips at a time (do not crowd the pan.) Fry until crispy, puffy and brown. Drain on paper towels.  The pastry can be stored in a wax paper lined tin for 1 or two days.
  4. For custard: mix 1 cup  of the milk with sugar, flour and cornstarch stirring until mixture is smooth and everything is dissolved.
  5. In another pan, scald remaining 3 cups of milk with cinnamon stick. Remove milk from heat. Remove cinnamon stick and allow milk to cool.
  6. Mix eggs into milk-sugar mixture. Pour mixture slowly into scalded milk, stirring. Add vanilla. Cook in a heavy saucepan over very low heat or on top of a double boiler until thick, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
  7. Spread pastry in bottom of serving platter that measures about 9×12 inches and is 1 to 2 inches deep. Pour cream in ribbon-like stream over pastry, spreading evenly, but let some of the pastry show through. Chill. Just before serving, sprinkle on chocolate, sprinkles and candied fruit, if using.

Note: If using marsala wine, eliminate the teaspoon of sugar for the pastry dough.