To prepare the Neapolitan pastiera according to the classic recipe, follow all our step by step.
Boil the wheat in boiling water for 2 hours, then drain it and cook it in milk with a piece of cinnamon, a little orange zest and 1 vanilla bean, until it has absorbed all the milk (it will take about 15 minutes). Alternatively, you can use 500 g of ready-made cooked wheat, heating it in 250 g of milk, using the same flavors (cinnamon, orange and vanilla), for about 10-15 minutes. Let the mixture cool.
Knead the flour, lard, 150 g of sugar and a pinch of salt in a large bowl, until a crumbled mixture is obtained, then add 2 eggs and continue working first with the fingertips and then with the palms of the hands, obtaining a stick of shortcrust pastry. Place the dough in the fridge in a bowl sealed with cling film for 30 minutes.
Work the ricotta with the rest of the sugar, adding it a little at a time.
Separate 2 eggs, keeping the egg whites aside and incorporating only the yolks in the ricotta mixture; then add the other 4 whole eggs, one at a time, and mix well with the whisk; add a little grated lemon and orange zest, candied fruit and 2 tablespoons of orange blossom water. Remove the aromas from the cooked wheat. Beat the egg whites and mix them together with the cooked wheat, thus obtaining the filling of the pastiera. To get a creamier filling, you can whisk a part of the grain before adding it to the rest of the mixture.
Grease and flour a cake tin (ø 25 cm, h 6 cm), preferably with the opening hinge. Roll out the shortcrust pastry on a floured surface until it is 5 mm thick: cut two bands as high as the edge of the pan and long enough to completely cover the perimeter, then make a disk with the same diameter as the bottom. First place the bands on the edge, then the disk on the bottom and press well to seal. Roll out the excess dough and cut it into 10 2 cm wide ribbons.
Fill the pastry with the filling, position yourself on 5 strips of pasta, so that they are equidistant from each other, and the other 5 above the previous ones, but at an angle. Bake at 170 ° C for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for at least 8 hours in a dry place. If you like it, you can sprinkle the pastiera with icing sugar, but only once it has cooled, before serving it.
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