Pastiera Napoletana is a buttery tart with a creamy filling that’s not overly sweet. This Italian grain pie mixes the flavors of smooth ricotta and pastry cream, candied citrus, cinnamon, and vanilla. The filling is cheesecake-like, but not quite.
For the pasta frolla (pastry dough): – 300 grams pastry flour (10.54 ounces) – 200 grams unsalted butter (7.025 ounces) – 100 grams granulated sugar (3.512 ounces) – 1 egg – 1 egg yolk For the wheat berries: – 1/2 cup hulled white wheat berries – 6 cups cold water – 1/4 teaspoon salt For the pastry cream: – 1 large egg – 1 large egg yolk – 1/4 cup granulated sugar – 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour – 1/2 cup milk To assemble the filling: – 1 cup whole milk ricotta (about 8 ounces) – 1/4 cup granulated sugar – 2 large eggs – 1 teaspoon orange flower water – 1/3 cup candied orange peel , cut into 1/4-inch diced – 1 tablespoon lemon zest ( I used organic) – 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon cinnamon – 1 cup wheat berries
Pastiera Napoletana is a traditional Easter dessert made in Naples and throughout the region of Campania. Some families may bake even up to six of these Easter grain pies to share with family and friends who come over to visit on Easter weekend. Six! This Italian Easter pie is so delicious that I could understand why they would bake that many. They even take these on their picnics they have on Pasquetta (Easter Monday). You may have heard Pastiera Napoletana called Pizza di Grano (grain pie), as that is how Italian Americans also call it..
If you can’t find candied orange peel and don’t have time to make your own, you could leave it out. Or you could add a mixture of lemon and orange zest to the filling instead of the candied orange peel to give it an extra citrus flavor. (When I make it at home for just us I leave out the candied orange peels since my kids don’t like it.) The most important tip is to make this Easter grain pie in steps. I made the dough and the filling the night before, but you could even make them a few days before.
RECIPE TIPS AND FAQ’S:
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