Pastiera Napoletana (Easter Grain Pie) – updated

  • Servings: 2 pies
  • Difficulty: Medium

We are so excited to share our all-time family favorite Easter dessert with you, Pastiera Napoletana or Easter Grain Pie, also known as Pizza Grano. During our trip to Italy last year, at a farmhouse dinner in Naples, we had a wonderful dessert at the end of our meal. As soon as we tasted it we thought it was just like Grandma Florence & Mom used to make! That unique flavor was such a wonderful memory for us. After Grandma and Mom passed away, the only time we could enjoy Pastiera Napoletana was to buy it at the Italian bakery during Easter time. We searched high & low throughout all of our recipe folders & boxes for their recipe but never found it. Then while gathering our recipes for this blog, we discovered that Teresa's daughter Tracy had it, or should I say had all 3 versions of the same recipe... Mom's handwriting and instructions made it somewhat challenging to decipher. Our first bite took us back in time...we nailed it! Don't be intimidated by the many steps to this recipe. We know it seems like a lot of work but if you break it down as we recommend, it's not difficult. If you're looking to add to your holiday traditions, this recipe is well worth it! Happy Easter 🐰 🐰


  • 1 jar 580 gr Grano Cotto (we use Fratelli D’Amico Cooked Wheat Grain– 20.5 oz)
  • 3 ¼ cups whole milk
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 lbs. whole milk ricotta (wrap in cheesecloth then put in a large strainer inside a bowl in the refrigerator overnight to drain excess liquid)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Paradise Candied Citron (diced)
  • 1/4 cup Paradise Candied Orange Peel (diced)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (slightly heaping)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 drops Fiori di Sicilia
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 12 Tablespoons salted butter – cold
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening – cold (sorry, “cup” was missing from our original recipe posted.)
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ice water (1 Tablespoon at a time as needed)


  1. DAY 1 – First Step grain filling.
  2. In a 6 qt pot, add the jar of Grano Cotto, milk and butter. Cook on the lowest heat setting of your stove for about 2 -4 hours. Stir frequently to avoid burning bottom. Do not let the milk curdle. The mixture should be thick & creamy and the grain extremely soft. (On the lowest burner setting it was still too hot so we put an additional stove grill on top of the cooking burner and it was just right to prevent the milk from curdling, see pictures below.)
  3. Add additional milk if it dries out before the grains are soft.
  4. Once the grain mixture is done, pour in a bowl and cool. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Day 2 – Make the Dough
  6. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add flour, vanilla, salt, sugar and orange zest. Mix to combine well.
  7. Add the cold butter, shortening and mix until it looks combined. You should see little pieces of butter & shortening not mixed throughout.
  8. Add the eggs and mix until the dough starts to come together.
  9. While the mixer is still running, add 1 Tablespoon of ice water at a time until the dough starts to form a ball.
  10. Dump out onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a round ball then cut into 2 equal portions.
  11. Roll each piece into a round ball until smooth. Cut 1/3 off each dough ball (use a scale to weigh each for accuracy). You should end up with 2 large dough balls and 2 small dough balls. Wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap then slightly flatten into a disk. Refrigerate for about an hour.
  12. Day 2 – Make Part 2 of the Grain Filling (Ricotta Filling)
  13. Using the whisk attachment, place the drained ricotta into the large bowl of your standing mixer. Add the sugar and eggs. Whisk until smooth, a few minutes on the low setting.
  14. Add the cooled grain mixture and continue to mix a few minutes until well incorporated.
  15. Lastly, add the citron, cinnamon, and Fiori di Sicilia. Mix on low until blended. Set aside until ready to fill pie pan.
  16. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter two 9-inch metal pie pans and set aside.
  17. Work with one of the larger dough balls at a time and roll out onto a floured surface to about 12 inches round. Place over one of the metal pie pans; make sure the dough is hanging over the pan edge.
  18. Fill the dough with half of the grain & ricotta filling but do not overfill. The filling should be about 1/2 inch below pan ridge. The filling rises quite a bit during baking.
  19. Lightly apply water around the rim of the pie dough. This will seal the dough to the strips in the next step.
  20. Using the small balls of dough, roll out onto a floured surface then cut strips about 1 inch wide. Lay them across diagonally to form a diamond pattern.
  21. Using the overhanging dough, pull up & over the strips & press to seal. Place completed pie on a large baking sheet and repeat the same process for the second pie.
  22. Bake approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or a little longer. The filling should be set, not jiggle. The crust should be golden brown. If the edges brown faster than the top, cover edges with foil.
  23. When done, remove from oven and let pies cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
  24. Day 3 – Remove pie from the refrigerator about 20-30 minutes before serving. Enjoy with a great cup of coffee or espresso.

Notes: Don’t overfill the pie pan as depicted below. Teresa got a little carried away forgetting we had another pie pan to fill.🤦🏻‍♀️

Must be room temperature before refrigerating.



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11 thoughts on “Pastiera Napoletana (Easter Grain Pie) – updated

  1. Just in time for Easter! I can’t wait to try your recipe. I’ve only had it from Italian bakeries and yours looks perfect! Thanks for sharing.

      1. This pie was more work than I usually put into baking but I’m happy to say my dinner guests really enjoyed it. I cut the recipe in 1/2 because I only needed 1 and that worked out fine. The flavor was spot on.

  2. Wow! I made this for Easter and my guests loved it. Best recipe I’ve tried. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  3. Hi this recipe looks awesome on the vegetable shortening it reads 1/4 vegetable shortening – cold is that 1-4 cup?

  4. I am baking this for the first time. After 2 hours on a low simmer, the grain mixture still had quite a bit of the milk still in it even though the grain was so soft and it was creamy. I didn’t want to risk cooking any longer. Also, I couldn’t get the Ricotta to drain as much as I would’ve liked (1 1/2 days) which I do t think dried it out enough. I’m left with about 9 cups of finished pie filling. It seems like too much to fill two 9 1/2” pie pans. So I’ll have some left over. I’ll repost after I’ve baked them and report how they came out.

    1. Thanks for your comment Alfred. The grain filling should be cooked on low until thick & creamy (2-4 hours) then poured into a bowl to cool off. Keep an eye on it in the oven and you may have to cook a little longer until it’s set. Please let us know how it turns out. Happy Easter!


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