1 and ¼ cups of cooked bulgar or spelt • 1 and ¾ cups of sugar • 1/3 cup of diced candied orange • 1/3 cup of diced candied citron • 2 yolks and 1 whole egg • 1 and a half cups of ricotta cheese(half from sheep’s milk and half from cow) • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon • 1 and ½ tbsp of orange blossom water or an orange liqueur • 2 tbsp of butter • The grated zest of an organic lemon • Just under a cup of fresh milk • And about a pound of pastry dough which you can make with 2 cups of flour, a stick of very cold butter, ¼ cup of sugar, one egg, one yolk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Knead together the ingredients, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it chill for a half hour before using.
The first thing to do is to prepare the pastry dough. Remember that you can follow the video recipe on this channel for more advice. You should let your dough chill in the fridge before rolling it out. In the meantime, you can prepare part of the filling by putting into a pot the milk, the cooked grain, the butter and the lemon zest. Let everything simmer together on a low heat for about 10 minute while mixing often until all of the ingredients are well mixed and have formed a creamy mixture. Once it’s reached that point, turn off the heat and leave the mix to cool.
While the wheat is slowly cooking, you can mix together the rest of the ingredients save the candied fruits. In a food processor, or of course you can simply use a whisk, put the ricotta, the sugar, the eggs, the vanilla, the cinnamon and the orange blossom water or orange liqueur (such as triple sec or grand mariner. Now, turn on your processor.
And now we’re ready to make the filling. Here we have the wheat which has been cooking in the milk and is now nice and creamy, and here’s the ricotta blended with the other ingredients. Now pour the ricotta into the wheat and mix together, and after, mix in the candied fruit and the filling is complete. Now it’s time to get the crust ready.
Roll your pastry dough out as thin as possible — less than 1/8th of an inch thick is about right and be sure to roll out your dough in a cool place to help prevent breakage. Butter and flour a pie tin 11 inches in diameter and line it with about ¾ of the dough — the other part will be used to make strips of dough about half to three quarters of an inch thick for the top of the pie. I’ve cut mine with a serrated roller to get the decorative edges. Now pour the filling for the pie into the lined tin, and then lay the strips on top like a grill so that you create a type of net over the pie. Push the edges down to reach the level of the filling. You can also do this with a fork to make a decorative edge. And now we’re ready to lay our strips across the top of the pie.
And here’s our Easter pie ready to be baked. As you can see, I’ve laid the strips to form diamond shapes, not squares. I recommend laying the bottom strips parallel, and then adding the top strips to form the diamonds. Now all we need to do is to beat an egg and wash the strips delicately as to not push the pastry strips into the filling. Now it’s time to bake the Easter pie for about an hour at 380F. The top of the pie should be quite golden and the pastry strips very shiny.
Once it’s baked, leave the Easter pie to cool inside of the pie tin — a springform pan makes it easier to remove the pie. I recommend covering your cooked pie and letting it rest in a cool place for a full day before you plan on serving it. From Sonia and GialloZafferano, Buona Pasqua
( Neapolitan Ricotta Easter Pie )
Original Italian Recipe
The Pastiera should be cooked in advance, no later than Good Friday, in order to allow the fragrances to mix properly and result in that unique flavor.
Pastiera Video Below
Pastiera – More Interesting Facts
The modern pastiera was probably invented in a Neapolitan convent. An unknown nun wanted that cake, symbol of the Resurrection, to have the perfume of the flowers of the orange trees which grew in the convent’s gardens. She mixed a handful of wheat to the white ricotta cheese, then she added some eggs, symbol of the new life, some water which had the fragrance of the flowers of the spring time, candied citron and aromatic Asian spices.
We know for certain that the nuns of the ancient convent of San Gregorio Armeno were considered to be geniuses in the complex preparation of the Pastiera. They would prepare a great quantity during Easter time.
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