Wheat and Ricotta Pie


Golden wheat kernels blend with fresh ricotta and orange zest for this Neapolitan dessert. This is my mom's recipe for traditional Pastiera from our region in Prata Sanita. The main ingredients in this recipe are wheat kernels, symbolizing fertility, and fresh vanilla, an ancient flavoring used through the centuries. This sweet cake-like pie is sometimes made in a pie crust.  First made in the convents of Naples, this classical Easter dessert is made throughout Campania.

Difficulty: Intermediate Best Season: Spring


Cake-Like Pie Crust

Chocolate Easter Egg

Chocolate Easter Egg Assembly

Chocolate Easter Egg Ricotta Cream Filling


For the crust

  1. Begin by soaking the wheat kernels 3 days in water, changing the water daily. After 3 days, boil the wheat kernels until they are soft. Drain well and let stand until all the water has drained. You can put them aside to cool and then keep in the fridge until ready to use.

  2. Combine and mix all the ingredients, starting with the eggs, sugar, adding the ricotta, cream, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Add the wheat kernels last. Pour the mixture into a greased glass baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until cooked.

For the filling

  1. In a glass bowl mix the Ricotta, sugar and heavy cream. Mix it well. Place the mixture in the refrigerator. Take a parchment paper and coat it lightly with butter. Over low heat, place in a pot until the sugar is melted and turns golden brown. Stir in the nuts. Remove the pot from the heat, and spread the mixture out evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Set aside to cool. Break the brittle into small pieces and put ¾ of the pieces into the bowl with the cooled Ricotta. Set the remaining pieces aside.

  2. Place the pan di Spagna slices in the bottom of the dark chocolate hollow Easter egg. Brush with the liqueur, top with the remaining Ricotta mixture and sprinkle with the remaining brittle.

Keywords: dessert, pastry
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