Here’s the recipe of one of the most famous Italian cakes: the pastiera.
A crunchy case of shortcrust pastry filled with ricotta, wheat and candied fruits. Its preparation is a little bit long but the result is absolutely delicious, trust me!
- For the pastry
- flour: 330 grams
- unsalted butter: 100 grams
- lard: 65 grams
- granulated sugar: 130 grams
- egg yolks: 4
- medium eggs: 1
- baking powder: 1/8 tsp
- orange blossom water: 1 tbsp
- organic lemon (the grated zest): 1
- For the ricotta filling
- ricotta: 400 grams
- granulated sugar: 300 grams
- medium eggs: 3
- egg yolks: 3
- ground cinnamon: 1 tsp
- orange blossom water: 5 tbsp
- mixed peel: 100 grams
- For the wheat filling
- cooked wheat: 580 grams
- whole milk: 400 millilitres
- lard: 50 grams
- organic lemon (the whole zest): 1
- organic orange (the whole zest): 1
- The day before prepare the pastry: sift the flour and baking powder in a big bowl, make a well in the centre, add the cold butter (cut into cubes) and rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the eggs slightly beaten and zest and mix until you have big crumbles. Transfer on a floured surface and knead quickly just to form a firm dough.Wrap with cling film and put into the fridge for at least 12 hours.
- On the same day prepare the ricotta: put it in a colander, cover with cling film and put a weight on it to get rid of all the water in excess. After 2/3 hours mix the ricotta with the sugar in a bowl, cover with cling film and put into the fridge until the day after.
- The day after start preparing the wheat.Drain it and put it into a heavy bottomed pan with the milk, the zest and the lard. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cook for about 30/40 minutes until you'll have a smooth consistency. The grains must maintaintheir shape but the mixture will be very creamy. Remove the zest and let the wheat cool down completely.
- Roll out the pastry at 3 mm thickness and line a 30 cm round tart tin (about 4/5 cm deep). Prick the bottom with a fork.Put it into the fridge and complete the filling.
- Pass through a sieve the mixture of ricotta and sugar then mix it with the eggs and the yolks (one at a time), the spices and the Orange blossom water. Add also the mixed peel and the wheat cream. Stir well with a rubber spatula and fill the pastry until half a centimetre under the edge.
- Roll out the pastry leftovers at 4 mm thickness and cut some stripes 1,5 cm wide. Use them to decorate the surface of the cake forming a rhombus pattern.
- Bake into the preheated oven at 150°C for about 1 hour and 50 minutes/2 hours The pastiera needs to bake slowly and, at the end, it must have a golden brown surface.Bake into the preheated oven at 150 degrees for about 1 and 50 minutes/2 hours The pastiera needs to bake slowly and at the end it must have a golden brown surface.Bake into the preheated oven at 150 degrees for about 1 and 50 minutes/2 hours The pastiera needs to bake slowly and, at the end, it must have a golden brown surface.