In Italy, Easter is a big holiday nationwide just like Christmas.. In some parts of Italy with deep catholic roots, Easter is celebrated more than any other holiday.
That is why they are so rich in traditional Easter
foods that go back hundreds of years. Many classic dishes served on Easter through out the world have derived from Italian cuisine..
This is the original Pastiera Napoletana recipe, it’s one of their most traditional pies served on Easter day as a dessert. Originated in Naples by nuns who baked Pastiera pies for the Neapolitan bourgeoisie.
It’s an Italian Easter Pie or Tart that is made with eggs, precooked wheat, lemon zest and ricotta. A classic Easter dish that for some reason is mainly served on Easter although many people make it all year round.. The pie is usually served cold, It’s delicious if done well!
1. Preparing The Dough For The Crust: In a mixing bowl add flour, sugar, cold lard and 3 egg yolks.. Then mix it with your hands until it forms into dough clumps, place the dough clumps on a clean surface.
2. Knead the dough clumps until the dough is well blended and smooth. Flatten it a little, wrap it with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Preparation For The Filling: In a medium size saucepan pour 250g of milk, 350g of pre-cooked wheat, 30g of lard and cook for about 20 minutes on low heat. Stir slowly every 5 minutes, add lemon zest after 10 minutes.. After 20 to 25 minutes pour the wheat batter in a mixing bowl and let cool in the refrigerator.
4. In A mixing bowl add 200g of cow ricotta, 200g of sheep ricotta, 180g of sugar with 3 eggs and mix with a spatula until well blended.. Add 3g of vanilla powder, 100g of candied fruit and 1 Tbsp of orange blossom extract and mix ingredients again.
5. Take the wheat batter from the fridge and pour it in the mixing bowl with the ricotta batter, then add a pinch of cinnamon. Mix both batters well and set aside for later to fill the crust of the pastiera.
7. Take the dough for the pie crust and tear of a small chunk to make the braids for the pie. Flatten the small chunk of dough with a roller and cut 1/2 inch to 1 inch strips to braid the pie before it’s baked. You will need about 12 to 15 strips. Take more dough if needed.
8. Roll the big chunk of dough to make it thin and about 1 inch wider than the baking mold you are using. Then place it over the pie mold, with your fingers gently shape into the the mold.. Chip of the sides and you should have a pie crust ready to be filled and baked. (See Pic Below)
10. Pour the mixed ricotta filling in the mold, fill to the top, flatten it gently and start braiding the pie.
11. Braiding The Pie Step 1:
12. Braiding The Pie: Step 2:
13. Braiding The Pie Step-3:
14. Bake in a static oven (best) or conventional oven at 340 degrees F for 60 minutes then another 20 minutes at 320 degrees F. Note: Check pie under the oven after an hour, if the crust is brown cover with aluminum foil for the next 20 minutes.. This pie may be a little tedious to make but it’s well worth the time.. Enjoy it with the family!