You can make these with or without the cream filling. Either way, they are hard to resist
The Pastry Cream
Place half the sugar in a mixing bowl and mix with the
cornstarch. Slowly add the eggs and yolks and mix until allisincorporated.
Bring milk, cream, the rest of the sugar and scrapedvanilla bean to a boil over medium heat. Add half the hotliquid to the yolk mixture. Place this back into the rest of the cream and place over medium heat and bring to a rolling boil whilewhiskingvery fast. The pastry cream should be a little thick. Whisk for 2-3 minutes over medium high heat and thentransferto a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and cool in the refrigerator before piping into Castagnoles.
Mix the dry ingredients together, except the zest, and sieve them together into a bowl. Add eggs, rum butter and zest and mix till you have a soft smooth dough. Knead for a few minutes. Cutting a piece of dough at a time, roll the dough toform 2 cm thick cylinders.Cut the cylinders in pieces of the size of a large cherry and roll them between your hands to form little balls.
Meanwhile start heatingthe oil, in a fryer if or into a deep pot. The oil is ready when it reaches between 300ňöF and 350ňöF. If the oil is too hot, they will brown too quickly leaving the center half cooked. Once the oil is ready fry a few Castagnole at a time until golden brown and puffed up.
Remove cooked ones with a slotted spoon. Drain on papertowels and let cool. Dust with confectionersí sugar. Fill apastry bag fitted with a round tube with the pastry cream. Pipe a small amount into the center.