Pastiera napoletana – Happy Easter everyone!

pastiera napoletana Easter bunny

Think that a good dish should speak for itself? Salmon thinks otherwise…

Pastiera napoletana – Happy Easter everyone!

pastiera napoletana Easter cake

With Easter fast approaching, the Rowes wanted to make sure this week’s recipe was bang on trend. Pastiera napoletana is a traditional Italian Easter treat – originally from Naples of course, but loved and appreciated nationwide.

There are many recipes and many variations, but the Rowes chose to follow Carluccio’s guidelines. For the outer shell (pastry) you will need 150g caster sugar, 150g butter, 3 large egg yolks, 300g flour. For the filling we used 425g cooked wheat (grano cotto per pastiera – you can find this in Italian delis ready for use), zest of ½ an untreated lemon, 1tsp cinnamon, 1tsp vanilla essence, zest of ½ an untreated orange, 300g ricotta cheese, 4 large eggs separated, 1tbsp orange flower essence, 1tbsp orange essence, 150g candied peel finely chopped, 225g caster sugar, some butter and flour for greasing the tin, and icing sugar to decorate the finished cake.

Make the pastry: place the sugar, butter and eggs into a bowl and beat until smooth, add the flour and stir to make a smooth pastry. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for one hour.

For the filling, mix together the wheat, lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla and orange zest. In a separate bowl beat the ricotta, egg yolks and orange flower essence. Add the candied peel. Incorporate the flavoured grain mix and the ricotta mix. Separately, beat the egg whites with the sugar until fluffy then fold gently into the mix.

Pre-heat the oven to 190°/gas 5. Use a little butter to grease a 35cm Ø round tin, dust with flour and shake off any excess. Take the pastry from the fridge and use 2/3 to roll out and cover the base and sides of the tin. Pour in the filling. Use the rest of the pastry to roll out, cut in strips and make a lattice top.

Bake for 45min. Allow to cool. Take out of the tin and sprinkle with icing sugar when you are ready to serve.

Trust the Rowes, it’s a showstopper – with or without those daft bunny ears!