Pastiera (Italian Wheat Berry Pie)

March 29, 2010

Pastiera (Italian Wheat Berry Pie)

Sara Jones, Tucson CSA

This is a traditional Easter dish served in Naples. It’s a great
way to celebrate spring and citrus season. Most versions call for
a special pie crust and fancy lattice work on top. This recipe is
simplified to use a pre-made crust and forgo the lattice work. To
simplify even further, try the Cuccia recipe in our online recipe
archive.

1/2 cup wheat berries (about 1 cup cooked berries)
Zest from 2 oranges
1 pound ricotta, put through a sieve
2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon orange-flower water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup finely chopped candied orange peel (optional)
1 pie shell, defrosted, if frozen

Soak wheat berries overnight and drain. Place in a large sauce
pan, cover in water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer
and cook until tender. Drain cooked berries and set aside to cool.
Mix the ricotta and sugar together. Stir in the eggs one at a time,
then add the zest, orange flower water and orange peel. Stir in
the cooled wheat kernels. Pour mixture into pie shell and
sprinkle top with cinnamon. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree
oven for about 45 minutes, until filling is set.

One Response to “Pastiera (Italian Wheat Berry Pie)”

  1. Amanda Says:

    I am so glad to see this recipe. My mom is from southern Italy and she makes something like this every Easter- except without the wheat berries. I am inspired!

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