Browse All Recipes

Virgins’ breasts

Australian Gourmet Traveller Italian sweets recipe for virgins’ breasts

By Rodney Dunn
  • Serves 8
Virgins’ breasts
Virgins’ breasts


  • 375 ml milk (1½ cups)
  • 55 gm sugar (¼ cup)
  • 35 gm cornflour (¼ cup)
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 piece lemon rind, removed with a peeler
  • 40 gm coarsely chopped candied orange (¼ cup)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 320 gm pure icing sugar, sifted (2 cups)
  • 8 candied cherries
  • 225 gm unsalted butter, softened
  • 80 gm caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 475 gm plain flour


  • 1
    In a heavy-based saucepan, whisk together milk, sugar, cornflour and ½ tsp vanilla and lemon rind. Place over medium heat and, whisking constantly, bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a minute, then remove from heat and cool. Stir through candied orange and cinnamon and set aside until required.
  • 2
    For pastry, cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer, then add egg yolk and beat to combine. Stir in lemon rind, ¼ tsp salt, flour and 50ml water and knead gently until a soft dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out dough to about 3mm thick on a lightly floured work surface, then cut out 8 circles using an 8cm-diameter cutter and 8 circles using a 10cm-diameter cutter. Spoon ¼ cup of custard mixture into the centre of each 8cm circle to create a mound. Brush edges with water and place the larger pastry circles on top, pressing edges to seal. Place on baking paper-lined oven trays and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • 4
    Whisk together icing sugar, 2 tbsp boiling water and remaining vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Spoon icing over cooled pastries and place a cherry on top. Biscuits will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • Author: Rodney Dunn