Pastiera (Italian Easter tart)

    2 hours

    Pastiera is one of the most iconic Italian desserts, originally from Naples and most typically served during Easter. The traditional filling is made of cooked wheatberries and sheep milk ricotta.


    1 person made this

    Ingredients
    Serves: 8 

    • 250g cooked wheatberries
    • 175ml milk
    • 30g unsalted butter
    • 2 lemons, zested
    • 400g sheep ricotta (or normal ricotta if you cannot find it)
    • 350g caster sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 100g mixed peel
    • 2 (23cm) ready rolled shortcrust pastry discs
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • icing sugar for dusting

    Method
    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr10min  ›  Extra time:30min cooling  ›  Ready in:2hr 

    1. Combine cooked wheatberries, milk, butter and zest of 1 lemon in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until creamy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
    2. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Butter a a large 28cm (11 inch) cake tin and line with one of the pastry discs.
    3. Combine ricotta cheese, sugar, eggs, egg yolks, 1 tablespoon orange blossom water, vanilla extract and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor; mix until smooth. Mix in remaining lemon zest and mixed peel. Fold in wheatberry mixture and pour over the pastry base.
    4. Slice the remaining pastry disc into 2cm wide strips. Place on top of the tart in a lattice pattern and brush with beaten egg.
    5. Bake in the preheated oven until filling is cooked through and top is lightly browned, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool for about 30 minutes.
    6. Remove tart carefully from the tin and place on a serving plate. Dust with icing sugar.

    Cooked wheatberries

    The special cooked wheatberries for this pie, called Grano cotto per pastiera (Italian cooked wheatberries) can be found in Italian grocery stores and online.

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