Neapolitan Pastiera

Ingredients for 12 servings

    For the pastry:

  • 300 g 00-grade flour
  • 150 g fresh lard
  • 150 g powdered sugar
  • 3 eggs

    For the filling:
  • 220 g durum wheat (cooked wheat is available at your grocery store)
  • 500 g fresh ricotta
  • 220 g powdered sugar
  • 80 g citron and candied orange rind
  • 40 g orange blossom water
  • Powdered cinnamon
  • 1/2 litre milk
  • A bit of lard
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Salt
 
Method 1: use cooked wheat bought at the grocery store.

Method 2, for purists!: Place durum wheat in a salad bowl, cover with water and allow to macerate over a period of 8 days, changing the water every day. After 8 days, drain well and place 250 g in a saucepan. Cover with water and allow to boil for 15 min. Drain and place in a saucepan. Add boiling milk. Add the zest of half a lemon, a pinch of cinnamon, a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. Simmer over very low heat until the wheat has absorbed all of the milk (about two hours).

Prepare the crust: arrange the flour in a fountain-like shape, add all other ingredients and knead until the dough becomes soft and smooth. Form dough into a ball and let rest in the refrigerator.

Strain the ricotta through a china cap, catching it in shallow bowl. Add the rest of the sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, the orange blossom and the candied orange cut into small pieces. Mix the durum wheat carefully and add four egg whites which have been whipped to form stiff peaks.

Grease the pie plate (32 cm in diameter) using the lard. Divide the dough in two. Roll out one half using a rolling pin and cover the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Place the filling in the pie crust and level off.

Roll out the second half of the crust, cut it into strips 1 cm wide and place them over the filling in a criss-cross pattern, turning the edges towards the inside. Place the “Pastiera” in a 180°C oven (or 150°C for a convection oven).
When the cake is ready, let cool and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Serve preferably several days later, without removing it from the pie plate.

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