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Friday, April 1, 2016

Pastiera (Neapolitan Easter Wheat Pie)

Buon Pasqua!  I love Easter as it is truly one of my favorite holidays and even more favorite time of the year, Spring! This is a traditional pie eaten all over Naples, Italy at Easter only which means you have to wait all year long for only 1 slice of  this rich, dense, and slightly exotic pie and believe me you it's well worth the wait!

The main in ingredient, wheat berries, is hard to find in the south so after skimming the internet I found where some people used arborio rice or, better yet,  pearled farro in place of the wheat berries. I tweaked two old basic recipes I liked using the farro and it turned out delizioso!
I found pearled farro at my Publix and Trader Joes and I found Orange Blossom water at a local middle eastern grocery store!



ricotta 1/2lb
pearled farro 3/4 c. (It must be pearled)

1 3/4 cups water
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
eggs 2
orange blossom water 2 tablespoons (you can order this online or use rose water)
cinnamon 1 teaspoon
1 lemon
1 orange
1⁄2-3⁄4 cup butter
2 extra large egg yolks
2 1⁄2-3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1⁄2-1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon, rind of
Powdered sugar for topping

You will want to make this a day ahead.

You will need a 9 inch cake pan.

Prepare the crust by mixing the  dry ingredients along with the zest and then grating the butter in using the large holes on a cheese grater. Mix until pea size crumbs form then add egg yolks and form into a dough. Wrap and set in fridge to chill.

 Combine the farro with 1 and 3/4 cups of water and bring to boil, cover reduce heat to medium/low and simmer until very tender, about 20-25 minutes.
 Remove from heat,  add in heavy cream and mix to form a loose but dense mixture and set aside to cool completely.

 Mix the ricotta with the sugar until creamy. Add eggs, cinnamon, orange blossom water and grate the rind of the lemon and orange into the mixture. Mix well. Add the cooled farro and mix again.

 Roll out 3/4  of the dough and line a buttered 9 inch round cake tin. Fill with ricotta filling.
Roll out the remaining dough, cut trips and arrange them in to a lattice pattern on top of the filling.

Bake at 350°C for about 1 hour or until the filling is golden. Let cool completely before placing in fridge, this pie is better the second day.  Serve at room temperature and dust with powdered sugar just before

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