> Lemon and Strawberries: Ptysie (Puffs) with lemon cream

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ptysie (Puffs) with lemon cream

This is a dessert of my childhood! We used to buy them in pastry shops on special occasions or as a Sunday treat. Whenever I was passing by the store as a kid I had to stop and stare at them - they just look so delicious and fluffy!
Ptysie ("ptyś" in singular) are made with special puff pastry, then cut in half and made into a sandwich-like with a lot of lemon cream.
I've heard that originally they were filled with whipped cream. Due to the shortage of heavy cream in communistic times in Poland, bakers invented egg whites based lemon cream and this is the one I remember from my happy childhood' days.
Now there are versions with other fillings - pudding, whipped cream and many others, but the lemon cream is my favourite and in my mind real ptysie must have it!


Puff pastry:
  • 1 glass flour
  • 1 glass water
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
Lemon cream: 
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 glass sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • water (enough to make 100ml liquid when mixed with lemon juice)
  • powder sugar for decoration 
Start with the pastry. In a pot with thick bottom boil water, add butter. When it's melted completely, add flour and stir vigorously until the dough stops sticking to the sides of your pot and has a consistency of potato puree. Set aside to cool down - you can place the pot in a nother one filled with cold water to save time.
When it's chilled, start adding eggs one by one and mix your dough using mixer until everything is well combined. 
Preheat your oven to 200°C (392°F). Layer a pan with baking paper.Using a piping bag with open star tip (9mm) squueze out little nests directly onto your baking paper. If you don't have a piping bag you can use a plastic bag with cut-off corner or simply a spoon. Remember to leave spaces in between, as pastry will grow quite a bit.

 Bake for about 30 minutes until you see they're golden-brown. Don't open the oven while baking or your ptysie will fall instead of puffing up! After they're done, let them cool down completely before adding cream. You can do it either in the oven with open door (they will be more crunchy this way), or just put them aside.

Now start making your cream. Put water, lemon juice and sugar in a pot with thick bottom, stir it and put on a medium heat. Don't stir it, just let it simmer until sugar is melted completely and mixture reaches 120-130°C (248-266°F). If you don't have a kitchen termometer, check with a spoon - dip it in the mixture and raise, if it creates a steady, thin stream then it's ready.
While sugar syrup is on the stove, whip egg whites into a stiff foam using a mixer. It's best if you use eggs straight from the fridge.
Next comes the tricky part - we need to combine sugar syrup with whipped egg whites and it will be done in water bath. You need a pot with some water to place a bowl with egg whites - it has to have a right size - big enough for a bowl to go in a little bit, but not to touch the water level.
Put this pot on the medium heat, place bowl on top of it and start mixing using a mixer on high speed. Slowly pour sugar syrup while mixing. Then mix for at least 20 minutes. The longer you'll mix it, the thicker and fluffier your cream will be.
When it's ready, let it cool down.

Cut each puff into halves - like you would cut a bun. You'll see it's hollow inside - this is a space for our cream! Using a piping bag with the open star tip again put generous ammount of cream on the bottom part. You can use a spoon if you prefer. Cover it with the top part of a puff and press gently, so it stays in place. Sprinkle with powder sugar to add a final touch.

Ptysie are perfect with a cup of coffee, or just by themselves. They will be also nice the next day, but may get a little softer.



  1. Wow, I am impressed by your cooking skills. Maybe I will manage to do it myself ;)

    1. Thank you! But actually it's much easier than it looks :)

  2. It's hard to believe it ;). Yet, I will try to bake them ;)

  3. Ten blog jest genialny ! podlinkowałam swoim znajomym z niemiec niech coś polskiego ugotują :D

    1. Ależ mi przyjemność sprawiłaś swoim komentarzem!
      Tak trzymać, promujmy polską kuchnię! :D