Very often reality is mixed with legend and this is a unique characteristic that make
magic. The story of pastiera is bond to the myth of Mermaid Partenope. The legend tells that Mermaid Partenope used to delight with her singing the people living in the Italy . In order to thank the Mermaid, the local inhabitants decided to offer the fruit of their fertile land: flower, richness and power of farmers; ricotta cheese, gift from shepherds; eggs, symbol of renovating life; tender grain boiled in milk as symbol of abundance; orange flower water as fragrance of the earth; the aromatic spices from the Oriental lands and sugar, as symbol of sweetness of her supreme voice. Partenope, moved by so many gifts, went back to her kingdom, in the depth of the sea, and laid down these gifts at the feet of gods. They, fascinated by her singing, mixed all the ingredients together: the result was a sweet that was superior to the goodness of Partenope herself: la pastiera. gulf of Naples
This rustic bread is eaten at home during the Easter meal or as a snack during the traditional holiday trip on Pasquetta, the Monday after Easter, when Italians travel to other towns to spend this Catholic religious holiday with their families.
BUONA PASQUA to all our readers!
Kneed the following ingredients. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for half an hour as you make the filling.
2 ½ cups flour (13 ounces)
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
zest of one large lemon
2 eggs & 1 yolk
Over medium high heat, cook the following 10 minutes. Stirring until creamy. Remove from heat and proceed to the next step.
1 can of Italian Grano
3 ½ ounces of whole milk
Zest of one large lemon
2 TBSP of butter
In a food processor combine:
(Preheat oven at this point to 370 degrees. Place a cookie sheet into the oven as it preheats.)
24 ounces ricotta (try “fresco” brand from Kroger. Found in gourmet cheese section)
1 ½ pounds of sugar
1 bustina of vanilla sugar (or 1 TBSP of vanilla extract)
1 TBSP of orange blossom water
Zest of one large lemon
In a very large bowl combine:
80 grams of candied orange peel (diced)
80 grams of candied fruit (diced)
Put it all together:
Roll dough to less than 1/8 of an inch thick. Place dough in a 10-inch diameter spring form pan. Save enough dough to cut 6 strips (1 inch wide). Pour in mixture into pan. Place strips over pastiera in a lattice pattern (creating diamond shapes).
Place pastiera on the heated cookie sheet. Bake at 370 degree for 1-1 ½ hours. Turn off oven and let oven cool with cake inside. Store in fridge until day of event.
On the day of serving, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put pastiera into oven for 2 minutes. This will loosen the cake and allow you to remove it from the pan. Cut cardboard strips and place over the lattice dough strips. Sprinkle powdered sugar over cake. Carefully remove cardboard. Serve and enjoy!