It would not be Easter without Pastiera!

Pastiera is a delicious cake typically cooked in the Easter period. It is known as Pastiera Napoletana, since the traditional recipe was invented in Napoli, but it is popular all over Italy and in my small village in Molise it is a beloved tradition to cook it for Easter.

This year I was lucky to be able to make mine with Angela, an expert baker who knows many traditional recipes. Angela is an incredible cook and she is a precious source of knowledge when it comes to customs and traditions in our village: every time I cook with Angela I learn more about incredible stories, old recipes and ancient flavors, so this year I asked her to let me follow her secret recipe for the traditional Pastiera (which she rigorously cooks in the wood oven).

Especially in preparation of the Easter holidays, families used to reunite to cook all together, exchanging recipes and ingredients. This year due to Covid-19 we will skip the big family reunions, but I can promise you that nobody will skip Pastiera in Italy!


What you will need:

As usual, you can find most ingredients here on BellaItalia, but for fresh ingredients, such as eggs and butter, my suggestion is to buy them as fresh as possible from a local market near you!

Save the image below to remember all the ingredients you’ll need!

 

Things to add to your cart now:

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Let’s get cooking:

First, let me take a moment to recognize how lucky I am to have access to super fresh eggs, directly from the farmer: these eggs taste amazing and using them as fresh as possible is the key to get an amazing filling for the Pastiera!

Fresh italian eggs

After organizing all the ingredients we roll our sleeves up and are ready to start from the Shortcrust Pastry: Angela let the butter out of the fridge to soften it naturally, then mixed all the solid ingredients (flour, sugar, pinch of salt and grated lemon peel) and added the eggs and butter, kneading everything by hand until she had a perfect consistency. We then let the pastry rest in the fridge for about one hour while we started mixing the filling.

traditional pastiera napoletana recipe

The key ingredient of the Pastiera filling is Grano Cotto (cooked wheat). We heat it up with the milk for about 20 minutes mixing it until it reaches a perfect creamy consistency. In another bowl, we mixed the ricotta cheese with the eggs and the sugar.

We let the Grano Cotto cool down before mixing it in with the ricotta and eggs cream, and lastly, we added the chopped candied citron and the fior d’arancio (Orange blossoms) flavoring.

traditionalpastieranapoletana filling

Time to get creative:

We prepared our Pastiera using the Shortcrust Pastry to line the springform tin and, with the excess we created thin strips of pastry to decorate the top of the Pastiera.

We filled each Pastiera with the filling and decorated it with pastry strips, disposing them to create rhombuses.

traditional pastiera napoletana


We then cooked the Pastiera in Angela’s wood oven checking on it until it had a golden finish. In a normal oven this would take about 1 hour at 390ºF (200ºC).

The smell of Pastiera is unforgettable and making this with Angela took me back to so many childhood memories!

I hope you will try to make this traditional Pastiera with your loved ones for Easter - or also just to celebrate Spring!

 

Buon Appetito!

 

Homemade Pastiera Napoletana