A changed filling to make a classic from the Campanian tradition even more delicious
This year, during Easter, we are going to revisit the Pastiera recipe, a classical dessert which has seen different tasty variations over time. What we are proposing now is from Amalfi Coast and it is certainly the most delicious recipe.
The roots of the classic Pastiera recipe get lost in legend. It is said that the wives of the Neapolitan fishermen left some baskets with ricotta cheese, eggs, candied fruit, wheat and orange blossom on the beach for one night. This was an offer to the sea, in the hope their husbands could go back home safe and sound.
The next morning, when they came back on the shore to wait for the fishermen, they found all the ingredients mixed together and a delicious dessert in the basket called Pastiera.
Every family loves to revisit the recipe according to its own tastes, handing it down and changing it from generation to generation. So we let ourselves be delighted by the following variant which replaces wheat with rice, cooking it into the milk to make it sweet and creamy in the same way.
Perfect for those who don’t like wheat without renouncing to the aromas and flavours of a classic Pastiera. It contains the fragrances of selected quality raw materials from this land, famous thanks to the Masters of Confectionery Art. The aroma of the PGI Amalfi Coast lemon, an ingredient already used in the traditional preparation, is here exalted becoming the master, the main protagonist of a delicious cream.
120 g icing sugar
60 g cold butter
60 g cold lard
2 whole eggs
salt to taste
200 g milk
50 g sugar
lemon peel to taste
To cook the wheat:
225 g cooked wheat
450 g milk
1 tablespoon of butter or lard
1 tablespoon of sugar
lemon peel to taste
To complete the filling:
480 g ricotta cheese
380 g sugar
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 vial orange blossom Water
80 g mixed candied fruit
2 sachets vanillin
cinnamon powder to taste
Put the pastry flour, butter and lard, 2 whole eggs, a pinch of salt in a bowl and add the icing sugar if you prefer a more delicate pastry. Knead the pastry to form a smooth dough, without overworking it too much as this encourages the development of a hard texture during baking. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Meanwhile prepare the custard: mix well one egg, sugar and flour in a bowl. Add the boiling milk and lemon peel – we suggest using PGI Amalfi Coast lemon – and pour it in a saucepan. Heat it up stirring it constantly to prevent lumps from forming until you get a thick mixture. Once the cream is ready, pour it into a bowl removing the lemon peel and let it cool.
To cook the wheat put it with milk, butter or lard, sugar and lemon peel in a saucepan. You should obtain a very thick mixture, which has to boil for at least one hour before being cooled, removing the lemon peel.
Now you can finally assemble the filling! All the previous preparations will be combined in a bowl: custard, wheat, ricotta cheese- previously crushed - 4 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks, sugar, candied fruit, vanillin, cinnamon and 1 vial orange blossom water. With an electric mixer, mix all the ingredients to obtain a homogeneous cream.
It's time to roll out the pastry with a rolling pin, pricking the crust with a fork. Pour all the filling and decorate your Pastiera with the classic pastry strips, placing them across the top to form a criss-cross pattern and pressing them on the edge. Your Pastiera should be baked in the oven at 190°C for about 1 hour, until reaching its characteristic amber-brown color on top. Let it cool and garnish with icing sugar. Your delicious Easter dessert is ready. Best Wishes!
Chef Pasquale Torrente's recipe
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