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Pastiera Napoletana - Easter Wheat Pie

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Created by cooking with nonna, Date Added: Monday, 26 July 2010
Description

Pastiera Napoletana - Easter Wheat Pie - a Neapolitan  Easter tradition!

Ingredients
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Makes
2 Pies

For the Pastry Dough:

  • 5 Cups - Flour
  • 1 Cup - Sugar
  • 6 - Eggs
  • 5 Tbs - Crisco
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Zest of one lemon

For the Filling:

  • 3 Lbs - Ricotta
  • 1/2 Lb - Hulled wheat (from soft wheat)
  • 2 Cups - Sugar
  • 8 - Eggs, separated
  • 2 Tbs - Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Cup Pieces of candied fruit (optional)
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Directions/Steps

For the Crust:

  • Arrange flour in a circle on your work surface. In the center, add the eggs, sugar, Crisco, salt and lemon zest.
  • Mix together by hand until firm. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for later use.

For the Filling:

  • The wheat should be rinsed with water and then placed in a large bowl.  Add cold water to cover and let soak over night in the refrigerator.  Drain the wheat and place in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 - 30 minutes until tender.  Let cool for use in the recipe.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs yolks only.  Set aside egg whites in a separate bowl for later. Add ricotta, wheat and sugar to beaten egg yolks and mix everything until well incorporated.  Add the vanilla and candied fruit pieces and mix well.  Beat egg whites until fluffy and foamy and fold into ricotta mixture.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking pans with Crisco and set aside.  Cut a piece of the dough, according to the size of the pan, and roll it out with a rolling pin.  The dough should not be too thick.  Lay dough into the greased baking pan. Fill the pan with the ricotta mixture. 
  • For the top crust: cut another smaller piece of dough and roll very thin.  Cut this into strips and place across top of pie, in a crisscross pattern. Press the ends together with the dough edge from pan with a fork.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

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