The Easter season is here on the Amalfi Coast, and with it comes the arrival of one of the sweet treats associated with this holiday in the Naples area – the Pastiera! This is a traditional dessert eaten for Pasqua (Easter) that is made with cook wheat, ricotta cheese, eggs, candied orange and cedro pieces, and scented orange blossom water. It has ancient origins in Naples, where it may even date back to pagan celebrations for the arrival of spring. While the invention of the pasteria is surrounded in myths, the tart as we know it today was likely created in a convent in Naples. Similar to the story of how the Sfogliatella Santa Rosa was created at the convent in Conca dei Marini on the Amalfi Coast. From mythical beginnings to modern day enjoyment, the Pastiera is a fixture at the Easter table on the Amalfi Coast!
Would you like to add touch of Italy to your Easter celebration this year? Why not prepare a traditional Pastiera for your family to enjoy? This recipe comes direct from the Exclusive Cruises family here in Italy, and it’s the one we’ll be enjoying after Easter lunch. It’s common to prepare the Pastiera several days in advance, so the flavors have a chance to blend together.
Neapolitan Pastiera Recipe
Pasta Frolla Pastry Crust
500 grams of Flour (Type 00)
200 grams of Sugar
200 grams of Butter
3 Eggs yolks
Pinch of Salt
Round 10″ baking tin
580 grams of Cooked Wheat
580 grams of Ricotta
580 grams of Sugar
8 Eggs, separated
Zest of one Lemon
70 grams Candied citrus peels, chopped in small pieces
1 teaspoon of Orange flower water
Dash of Cinnamon
To Make Pastry:
- Place the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter cut into small pieces in a bowl and rub together with your fingers until it turns into the texture of fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolks and mix until combined to form a dough.
- Shape it into a ball and cover in plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
To Make the Filling:
- Mix ricotta and sugar together.
- Add the following ingredients to the ricotta and sugar, continuing to mix the whole time: egg yolks one by one, the cooked wheat, the orange flower water and cinnamon.
- Add the chopped candied citrus and lemon zest.
- Whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold into the filling mixture until fully blended and creamy.
To prepare and cook the Pastiera:
- Butter the baking tin.
- Roll out the dough and line the pan, trimming the edges.
- Add filling and decorate top with thin strips of remaining dough.
- Bake for one hour in a pre-warmed oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
- Let cool completely.
- Serve with a light dusting of powered sugar if desired!
We hope you will enjoy trying this recipe – and have a wonderful Easter!
(Photo by Maritè Toledo)