Pastiera Napoletana is a traditional dessert from Napoli, a wonderful cooked wheat berries (grano cotto in Italian) and ricotta pie with scents of citrus, traditionally eaten during Easter time. The origins of Pastiera Napoletana are still unknown. According to the tradition it has roots in the ancient Pagan celebration of the arrival of the spring, while the modern version of Pastiera was probably invented by a nun in a Neapolitan convent as a symbol of Resurrection. Today Pastiera Napoletana is one of most appreciated Italian desserts all over the world, perfect to be shared and enjoyed with family and friends!
Ingredients for the shortcrust pastry base:
330g of '00' flour
1 egg, 2 yolks
6g baking powder and salt.
Ingredient for the cream:
350g of ewe's milk ricotta
300g of cooked wheat
200g whole milk
300g of sugar
3 eggs, 2 yolks
25g of butter
half a tablespoon of cinnamon
Aroma of orange blossom
70g mixed candied fruit orange and lemon peel
Preparation for the shortcrust pastry base:
Mix the soft butter with the sugar, stirring constantly, add the egg and yolks one at a time until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous, add a pinch of salt and then add the flour and baking powder. Collect the dough and knead it until it forms a ball. Cover the dough with clin film and let it rest in the fridge for a few hours. To roll out the dough, dust your work surfaces with flour and with the help of a rolling pin roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 4mm and place it on a previously greased and floured Pastiera mold. Make strips with the leftovers of the dough that will be used later for the garnish.
Preparation for the cream:
Mix the ricotta with the sugar, add the cinnamon then the eggs and egg yolks and finally the orange blossom aroma and set it aside.
In a saucepan, arrange the wheat, milk, butter and citrus peels, over low heat, cook for 25/30 minutes, stirring constantly. At the end of the indicated time you should have obtained a velvety compound. Remove the citrus peels and let them cool.
Once the wheat compost has cooled, add the ricotta cream prepared previously, add the candied fruit and aroma of orange blossom and transfer it all to the previously prepared shortcrust pastry base. Arrange the strips on the pastiera at the same distance from each other and crossing them together to form diamonds.
Heat the oven to 150 degrees and cook the pastiera for at least 2 hours.
Tip: make the toothpick test to make sure the cake is done: stick the toothpick into the center of the cake and if there is still wet batter on it, it means that your cake needs more time in the oven.
Turn off the oven and let the cake rest with the heat off. Once the pastiera is cold, sprinkle with icing sugar.