Pastiera is one of the great Italian traditional foods served for holiday meals, but also enjoyed throughout the year. It is a favorite of cafes, pairing well with espresso, tea or Cafe Americano. The recipe is not too sweet, but many find it dry, so always serve it with some beverage. Also called “Pizza Grana”. Make it the day before Easter for best flavor.

Pastiera (Wheat or Grain Pie)
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 10 to 12
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 Cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 pounds ricotta
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 2 Tablespoons Triple Sec Liqueur, Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  • 1 1/4 Cups cooked white wheat (approximately 3/4 pound wheat before cooking)
To Make Crust:
  1. Cut dry ingredients together. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Dough will be soft, but not sticky.
  2. If sticky, adjust by adding flour a teaspoon at a time while mixing. Divide dough in half and roll.
  3. Place in ungreased 9" pie pan. Set aside.
To Make Filling:
  1. Whip ricotta cheese and eggs until creamy. Add remaining ingredients and mix at medium speed until well blended.
  2. Fill pie pans and bake at 300 degrees for about 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  3. Pies will puff up and crack slightly. Bake until golden brown. After they cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar.
This pie is a classic Italian Easter tradition going back centuries. Today, it is available in most good Italian bakeries and many non-Italian ones as well. Homemade is so very much better than anything store-bought.

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