The Neapolitan pastiera is perhaps the oldest and most typical representative of the Campanian confectionery tradition. It is also considered a traditional sweet in lower Lazio and in part of Calabria., but the origins are certainly Neapolitan. Furthermore, with ancient roots, dating back to the votive offerings of agricultural products (milk, eggs, wheat…) that were formerly made to the pagan gods to promote abundant harvests.
born as seasonal spring dessert (mandatory at Easter tables in the Neapolitan area) the pastiera is already available all year round in pastry shops in half of Italy.
Technically it is a ricotta tart with the addition of boiled wheat and candied fruit. And it can be easily made at home, too, since the hardships of the past (boiled wheat and candied fruit, in fact) are now on sale everywhere.
Also there Broken mass it can be bought both fresh and frozen, which is also an excellent solution from the practical point of view, of the results. However, for those who wish to resort to the help of the supermarket, the dough to buy must be that of the block, to be stretched. The one that is already rolled into sheets is, in fact, too thin for the Neapolitan pastry. If, on the other hand, you want to make an excellent shortcrust pastry at home, in addition to the quick instructions that we give you below, you can read it here Shortcrust pastry: how to make it in the best way. On this page you will find explained in great detail not only what you need to do to make a great pastry, but also why those things need to be done that way..
According to connoisseurs, the Neapolitan pastiera is tastier to eat after a day off, strictly NO spending on the refrigerator. However, if you want to keep it longer, you can do it up to a maximum of 5 days, but, in this case, necessarily in the fridge.
For those who do not like to feel the granularity of cooked wheat, it is planned that after cooking the milk and cream of wheat can be sieved before mixing it with the cream of ricotta.
- 400 g of white flour
- 2 whole eggs
- 200g of sugar
- 200g butter, cut into pieces (or lard, as it was originally)
- 230 g of wet wheat for sweets
- 600 ml of milk
- 30g butter
- 2 sachets of vanillin
- Skin of half an orange finely chopped or grated (only the colored part).
- 2 level tablespoons of sugar
- 320 g sheep ricotta
- 230g of sugar
- 4 eggs
- Two vials of orange blossom water
- 100 g of mixed candied fruits
- A pinch of ground cinnamon
- A yolk for the final decoration and icing sugar
In a bowl, mix the flour with the 200 g of sugar, the 200 g of butter cut into small pieces and work with your fingertips until you have a crumb-like mixture. Then add the 2 eggs and continue to work quickly with your fingers: the shortcrust pastry must not be overworked so as not to lose its friability, it must only be pressed between the fingers until a fairly homogeneous mixture of uniform color is obtained. Finally, form a ball and let it rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Drain the wheat, put it in a saucepan with the milk, add half a glass of water and bring to a gentle boil. Now add the 30 g of butter, the 2 sachets of vanillin, the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the grated peel of half an orange. Then simmer for as long as it takes for the liquid to fully absorb. It should form a kind of cream with the slightly decompressed grain, as is typical of the Neapolitan pastry.
Mix the ricotta with the 230 g of sugar, the 4 beaten eggs, two vials of orange blossom water, 100 g of finely chopped candied fruit and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Mix well, then add the cream of wheat and mix by stirring for a long time.
Grease a 26 cm wide tart pan with butter, roll out the shortcrust pastry with a rolling pin (3-4 millimeters thick) and line the pan with it, trimming the excess around the edges. Pour in the filling and level, then fold the circular edge of the puff pastry in.
Now roll out the excess puff pastry again with a rolling pin, cut it into strips just under 2cm wide and use them to form a decorative grid on the pastry. Beat an egg yolk and brush it on the edge of the pastry and on the strips of dough. Finally, bake the pastry in the preheated oven at 180° until it turns an amber color. It will take more or less between 60 and 75 minutes, depending on the oven and the size of the cake. Finally remove from the oven, let cool and sprinkle with icing sugar.
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