From Naples the great Pastiera Napoletana

One of the most beloved and beautiful Italian Easter pastries is the famous Pastiera Napoletana, a wheat berry and ricotta pie andorange flower water, essential to this recipe. You can try to find it in “gourmet” food stores, Italian specialty food stores, middle eastern and north African stores.The wheat grains will be also in the Italian specialty food stores or in “whole” or natural foods stores. Better to get the hulled wheat; unhulled wheat requires a much longer soaking period. If you buy unhulled wheat, try to find  a much softer”spring wheat”.
The canned wheat is available from Italian specialty food stores on Easter time.


The ingredients are the following:

  1. Hulled wheat grains (or one-pound can of presoaked wheat)
  2. 1 1/2 lbs. of whole-milk ricotta
  3. 6 eggs ( 6 yolks and 4 whites)
  4. 1/2 cup milk
  5. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  6. One teaspoon salt

Then you will need:

  1. 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons orange flower water
  2. 2 or more teaspoons cinnamon
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons oil of orange peel
  5. About 1/2 cup finely diced candied orange rind
  6. 1/4 to 1/2 cup finely diced candied citron
  7. About 1/4 cup finely diced candied lemon peel
  8. A very small drop of oil of lemon peel

To make the crust is simple: you can make an easy pasta frolla. To do the filling: start preparing the wheat, boil the hulled wheat grains in water until the grains burst open. Add more water and a little salt and boil covered for about 45 minutes. Then set it aside for about two hours. Drain the soaked wheat. Use to measure about two cups and  squeeze out excess liquid. You can also just open your one-pound can of pre-soaked wheat. Boil 1/2 cup of milk, add a little sugar, and cook the wheat in this for a few minutes. Add a little salt and the candied orange, citron and lemon peel and the orange peel oil  to the wheat. Set aside and mix the ricotta with 1/2 cups sugar, add the orange flower water, vanilla extract and cinnamon.

Beat separately 6 egg yolks and 4 egg whites. Mix the yolks into the ricotta mixture. Mix the whites into the wheat mixture. Then mix  together and blend. Put the filling on the crust and  put in preheated 350 F. oven.


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