Pastiera napoletana

Pastiera napoletana

By
From
The Italian Baker
Serves
10

Italian sun, tradition, Naples, the Costiera Amalfitana, Sorrento... they are all here in this recipe. A cross between a pie, tart and cake, the pastiera is quintessential Italy. Queen Maria Theresa of Habsburg, Holy Roman Empress in the 18th century, was known as “the Queen who never smiled”, and the story goes that this pie was the only thing that would make her smile with delight.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the pastry

Quantity Ingredient
140g butter, chilled and diced, plus extra, softened, for greasing
235g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
130g icing sugar
3 egg yolks, plus extra to glaze
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
240g Cuccìa al vino cotto
100ml milk
250g caster sugar
pinch salt
3 tablespoons butter
450g ricotta cheese
40g icing sugar
1 lemon, zest grated
1 orange, zest grated
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
120g candied fruit, cut into small pieces

Method

  1. Butter a 23 cm springform cake tin and dust with flour.
  2. For the pastry, pulse the flour and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar, 3 egg yolks and vanilla and process just until the mixture comes together into a dough; do not over-process. Place the dough on the work surface and knead briefly, then wrap in cling film and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.
  3. Roll out the chilled dough on a very lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 5mm. Leaving a circle large enough to line the tin, cut off 8 strips of pastry and set aside in the fridge. Lay the rest of the dough in the tin and press it neatly around the base and sides of the tin. Using a fork, prick the base in a few places, then chill the pastry case in the fridge while you make the filling.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C. For the filling, heat the cooked wheat and milk in a saucepan set over a medium heat until it starts to boil, then add the caster sugar, salt and butter and stir until melted and creamy, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Press the ricotta through a fine sieve into a large bowl and add the icing sugar. Stir together until creamy, then add the lemon and orange zest, orange blossom water, cinnamon and eggs and stir to mix. Finally, add the cooled, cooked wheat mixture and the candied fruits and stir to combine. Pour the filling into the pastry case and place the strips of pastry in a lattice pattern over the filling, pressing the ends onto the pastry edges to seal. Brush the lattice strips with extra egg yolk to glaze. Bake in the oven for about 40–45 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling set.
Tags:
baking
cakes
biscuits
Italian
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