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Pastiera Napoletana Recipe
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Pastiera Napoletana Recipe

This recipe for Pastiera Napoletana is a traditional Italian Easter dessert. It's a citrus scented pie made with a ricotta and wheat berry filling, encased in a short crust pastry.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Pastiera Napoletana Recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
chilling time 30 minutes, Baking time 60 minutes 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 10 to 12
Author Marisa

Equipment

  • 25 centimetre round tart tin with removable bottom

Ingredients

  • FOR THE PASTA FROLLA
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar icing sugar
  • a pinch of salt I use fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup cubed cold butter
  • 3 large eggs. lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

FOR THE FILLING

  • 560 gram jar of Grano Cotto, cooked wheat
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • A vanilla bean split open
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 400 grams of full fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 whole eggs plus 2 eggs separated
  • 1 cup powdered sugar icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange blossom water
  • 1 tablespoon each of orange and lemon zest

Instructions

FOR THE PASTA FROLLA

  • Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to combine.
  • Add the cubed butter and mix till coarse crumbs form.
  • Mix in the lightly beaten eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest until it forms a smooth ball. (takes less than a minute).
  • Wrap the dough in cling wrap and allow to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

WHEAT BERRY MIXTURE

  • Meanwhile spoon the jar of the cooked wheat in a medium sized stock pot.
  • Add in the milk, vanilla bean and lemon zest.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes or until the mixture thickens and has absorbed most of the liquids.
  • Stir frequently making sure to keep an eye on it so the wheat berries do not stick to the pot and burn.
  • Scrap out the any remaining seeds from the vanilla bean. Stir them back into the cooked wheat mixture and set aside to cool.

ROLLING OUT THE SHORT CRUST PASTRY DOUGH

  • While the mixture cools, grease a 25cm round tart tin with a removable bottom and set aside. (I used a 25cm (10 inch) deep quiche pan with removable bottom however any 10 inch pie dish would also work).
  • Cut a quarter of the dough off, reserving it for the lattice top.
  • Roll out the remaining dough to about 1/8 inch thick and line the tart tin with the rolled dough.
  • Trim off any excess dough with a knife.

PREPARING THE RICOTTA FILLING

  • In a medium sized bowl mix together the ricotta, the 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the powdered sugar (icing sugar), orange blossom water, orange and lemon zests until combined.
  • Stir in the cooled wheat mixture.
  • In a separate bowl beat the two remaining egg whites just until stiff peaks form and then softly fold them into the ricotta mixture.
  • Pour the ricotta mixture into the prepared pie.
  • Roll out the remaining pastry dough and cut out 9 strips of dough slightly longer than the pie tin. (about 1 inch wide)
  • Place the strips of dough over the filling in a criss-cross pattern and trim off any excess.
  • Brush the strips of dough with milk and bake the pie in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F, for about 60 minutes or until a lovely golden brown.
  • Allow the ricotta pie to cool completely before refrigerating then dust with powdered sugar just before serving.
  • This ricotta pie actually tastes better the day after it's baked making it a great make ahead dessert.

Notes

If you can't find store bought "grano cotto," cooked wheat you can replace it with 3/4 cup of dry wheat berries. However you'll need to cook them yourself before proceeding with the recipe.
Follow package direction for soaking and then cooking the wheat berries or follow the instructions below:
Rinse the wheat berries well and place them in a small bowl with enough water to cover.
Allow to soak overnight or up to 24 hours before you plan to bake the ricotta pie as this will allow for quicker cooking time.
THE FOLLOWING DAY:
Rinse and drain the wheat berries and place them in a pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat and let simmer for about 1 hour or until tender.
Drain any remaining liquids and set aside while you prepare the pasta frolla.
Then simply continue with the recipe at the "Preparing Ricotta Filling" heading.