Pastiera Napoletana (Neapolitan Pastiera )

The Neapolitan Pastiera is a sweet of the Neapolitan tradition, typical of the Easter period, based on shortcrust pastry, wheat, ricotta, eggs and with an intense aroma of orange blossoms. A rich cake, important part of Naples and Italy tradition, that cannot miss in any Neapolitan house during Easter. In Naples, preparing the wheat pastiera is however a pleasure  throughout all the year, despite being a typical cake of the Easter period. There are many typical Neapolitan desserts, but the pastiera of wheat and ricotta is certainly one of those that deserve greater respect and consideration. To make the pastiera requires a lot of steps, days and dedication. But all your efforts will be rewarded at any bites of this amazing dessert.

  • DifficultyDifficult
  • CostMedium
  • Preparation time4 Days
  • Cooking time1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • Serving
  • CuisineItalian


For the pastry

  • 400 gwhite flour type 0 (I used white spelt flour)
  • 180 gpure butter
  • 170 gicing sugar
  • 2eggs
  • 1lemon zest
  • 1 pinchtable salt
  • 1 teaspoonbaking soda

For the cooked wheat grains

  • 250 graw whole wheat grains (they must be cooked as per instructions below)
  • 350 mlmilk
  • 50 gbutter
  • 1peel of an orange
  • 1peel of a lemon
  • 1vanilla pod
  • 1 teaspoonground cinnamon

For the ricotta filling

  • 500 gsheep’s ricotta cheese
  • 350 gicing sugar
  • 4eggs
  • 1lemon zest
  • 1orange zest
  • 1 teaspoonorange blossom water
  • 70 gsmall cubes of candied citron (optional)

For the topping

  • 1eggwash
  • 1 spoonicing sugar


For the pastry

  1. – bring the butter to room temperature, then cut it in cubes;

    – sift the flour into a large bowl;

    – sift the icing sugar and the baking soda onto the flour and mix well;

    – add the the butter, the eggs, the pinch of salt and the lemon zest;

    – knead well till with you hands till you get a dough (try to work the ingredient as quick as you can can);

    –  wrap the dough in some cling film and keep refrigerated for at least 4 hours

For the cooked wheat

  1. – rinse the grains of wheat under running water;
    – soak them in a bowl with plenty of fresh water;
    – after the first 24 hours, drain the wheat and soak it with fresh water again;
    – repeat this operation for 2 days;
    – on the third day, drain the wheat and transfer it to a pot;
    – cover the grains with water and bring to boil;
    – add half a teaspoon table salt and continue to cook the wheat for another 60 minutes, or until the wheat grains open;
    – cover the pot with the lid and let the cooked wheat rest for at least 8 hours;
    – now the wheat should have absorbed any water left over from the cooking;

    – cover the grain with the milk, add the ground cinnamon, the grated zest of the lemon and of the orange then bring to boil;

    – remove the pot from the stove, remove the peel of the citrus and stir in the butter with cinnamon and vanilla seeds;

For the ricotta cream

  1. – sift the ricotta onto a large bowl to make it smooth and creamy;
    – sift the icing sugar onto the ricotta and mix well;
    – add the eggs and mix well until completely absorbed;
    – add the citrus zests and the orange blossom water and mix well;

To assemble the pastiera

  1. – combine the cooked wheat with the previously prepared ricotta cream;
    – work the short pastry with a rolling pin to form a disc with a diameter of 28 centimeters and a half centimeter thickness;
    – grease a 28cm pastiera baking tray and fold it with the  pastry;
    – pinch the bottom of the pastiera with a fork;
    – remove the excess of  pastry from the edges and use them to obtain strips that you will use to cover the pastiera;
    – pour the filling on the pastry (make sure the mixture reaches 1 cm below the edge) and decorate the surface with the strips;
    – bake at 165 degrees on the lower part of your oven for about 90 minutes, till it gets very golden;

    the pastiera should not be touched for at least 24 hours: this is to allow all the ingredients and flavors to bind together perfectly and to create the perfect texture;    


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