Neapolitan pastiera (or more simply pastiera) is a Neapolitan dessert typical of the Easter period, one of the cornerstones of Neapolitan cuisine. It has been recognized as a traditional Campania food product.
Pastiera is a shortbread cake filled with a mixture of ricotta, candied fruit, sugar, eggs and wheat boiled in milk. The dough is crunchy while the filling is soft. The color is very intense golden yellow. The scent and taste change depending on the spices and aromas used during the preparation. In the classic recipe the aromas used are cinnamon, candied fruit, orange peel, vanilla and orange flower water.
The legend, which wants the siren Partenope creator of this cake, probably derives from the pagan festivals and the votive offerings of the spring period. In particular, the legend is perhaps linked to the cult of Ceres whose priestesses carried the egg in procession, a symbol of rebirth that passed into the Christian tradition. The current recipe was perfected precisely in the convents and those of the nuns of the convent of San Gregorio Armeno became famous.
- 550 g of cooked wheat
- 150 g of milk
- 40 g of butter or lard
- 1 lemon
- 500 g of fresh ricotta
- 400 g of sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 vial of orange blossom aroma
- a pinch of cinnamon powder
- 45 g of candied citron
- 45 g of candied orange
- a sachet of vanilla
- 500 g of shortcrust pastry
In a saucepan pour the wheat, milk, butter and grate the lemon rind after having washed it properly. Cook over medium heat until creamy. If you prefer not to hear the bits of wheat at the end, the cream obtained can be passed with an immersion mixer.
In another very large bowl, blend the ricotta with the sugar, then add eggs and egg yolks. Put a pinch of cinnamon, vanilla and empty the vial of orange flowers and finally add the candied fruit. Mix all the mixture.
Add the wheat cream to the latter after it has cooled slightly.
Roll out the shortcrust pastry about half a cm, grease a baking sheet of about 25-30 cm and place the short pastry on it. Pour the obtained cream (it must reach the edges). With the shortcrust pastry that has been set aside, make strips that are not too thin and 1.5-2 cm wide and place them in diamond shapes on the surface of the cake.
Bake at 180 ° C for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven when the surface is golden brown.
The pastiera that has just come out of the oven must be left to cool and is best eaten the next day. To preserve it, it is advisable to keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days maximum. The pastiera can be frozen raw and then thawed in the refrigerator before cooking.
With this recipe the pastiera comes with a very creamy filling. If you want a thicker consistency, add 2 eggs to the filling.
Short pastry recipe: click here