Celebrate Easter with this authentic recipe of Neapolitan Pastiera according to Master Pastry Chef Scaturnio directly from Naples. Easy to make.
This is one of the most widespread desserts especially during the Easter period in Calabria but mostly everywhere in Italy. It is a typical spring dessert, and at Easter, it can never be lacking on the tables of the Italians.
For the pastry:
- 0.5 kg of flour;
- 200 gr. of sugar;
- 2 whole eggs;
- 200 grams of lard or crisco;
- 2 gr. of ammonia;
- grated lemon zest.
For the cooked wheat:
- 1 pound and 2 ounces whole wheat kernels
- Pinch of salt
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 stick butter
- 0.5 Kg. sheep or cow ricotta (I prefer to use both, mixing them together);
- 0.5 kg of coarse sugar;
- 0.5 kg. cooked wheat (you can make your own or buy the “cooked wheat” jars at your favorite Italian grocery store)
- 5 whole medium eggs;
- 100 gr. of candied fruit (i use orange and lemon citrus);
- Few drops of Neroli (1 little bottle may cost up to 2000 Euro, so you can use Orange flavor from your grocery store)
Special equipment: 9 or 10-inch metal baking tin
If you make your own “grano cotto”
- Put wheat kernels, butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 40 minutes. Let it rest overnight refrigerated.
If you buy the jarred “grano cotto”
- Then, cook the wheat in the milk with the peel of lemon and a teaspoonful of lard, until it becomes a cream, about 20 minutes. Now you can leave the whole grain or blend it, or half and half.
- Remember to remove the lemon peel. Reserve in the fridge.
Let’s make our Pastiea now:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Make the “flour fountain” on the work table. In the flour all the ingredients have to be put together and mixed together and the flour will absorb everything. Warning! Do not press the dough!
- The dough must rest at least 24 hours.
- At this point, reserve some dough to make the stripes on top.
- With the remaining dough, using a rolling pin, make the “pettola”, that is a disk of shortcrust pastry and spreads it in the cake mold.
- Warning: you have to make the whole thing adhere well and then you have to trim it all around.
- Mix the ricotta with the sugar and let it rest for a few hours, then add the cold wheat, beaten eggs, candied orange and aromas. Fill the molds up to the edge.
- From the short pastry we have reserved previously, we then make rectangular strips of 1 cm. and put them on top of the filling of the pastiera, in order to control their leavening in the oven; in fact these strips help to contain everything: when the Neapolitan pastiera is in the oven tends to become a balloon, then at the exit from the oven it reassumes, returning to its original shape.
- Let it cook in the oven at 190 °C (375°F) for about 90 minutes and even a little longer, in any case until the
- Neapolitan pastiera takes on a nice amber color. In this way, the sugar becomes almost shiny and a little bright.
BUONA PASQUA A TUTTI!!