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 🐰 🐰

Ingredients

  • GRAIN
  • 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)
  • FILLING
  • 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
  • DOUGH
  • 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)

Directions

  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.

 

 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Italian Easter Egg Breakfast Baskets (Pupa Cu L’ova)

  • Servings: 12 16
  • Difficulty: Medium

Pupa Cu L'ova means Eggs in a basket in Italian and is a traditional Easter breakfast enjoyed by children & adults throughout Italy. One of our fondest memories of Easter morning (besides getting chocolate-filled baskets from the Easter Bunny) is eating these delicious Eggs in a Basket for breakfast. Every Easter our mom and her sister (Aunt Sally) would bake these delicious treats while we all looked forward to eating them. Our parents enjoyed them over their morning coffee while we enjoyed them with a glass of milk. Traditionally this scone-type muffin is made with anise flavoring but our children preferred vanilla flavoring with our secret ingredient, Fiori di Sicilia. Your family will love these for breakfast.

Happy Easter

Ingredients

  • DOUGH
  • 5 cups sifted, all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon & 2 tsp baking powder (make sure it’s not expired)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, pink Himalayan, or table salt
  • 1 cup Crisco shortening (we use Crisco butter flavor) or Promise Healthy Heart
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp quality vanilla extract (not imitation vanilla)
  • 1/2 tsp Fiori di Sicilia (optional for muffin dough) or 1 tsp almond extract
  • Muffin tin (12 muffins)
  • 12 raw, colored eggs
  • greased regular size muffin pan
  • ICING
  • 1 cup confectioners powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk (more or less to get a thick consistency)
  • 1/2 tsp Fiori di Sicilia
  • DECORATIONS
  • 1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
  • neon green food coloring
  • 12 raw, colored eggs
  • colored sprinkles and/or nonpareils

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
  3. Cut shortening into the flour mixture by hand until crumbly (a stand mixer can also be used).
  4. In a medium bowl mix eggs, 1/2 cup milk, and extract flavorings.
  5. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the egg mixture.
  6. Mix until dough is smooth and can form into a ball.
  7. Roll out on a very lightly floured, clean surface, to about 1/4-inch thickness.
  8. Using a 4-inch cookie cutter, cut 12 rounds of dough (use leftover dough to make additional 3-4 baskets)
  9. Cut 24 dough strips,  approximately 5/8-inch wide, and long enough to cover the egg and attach to the basket rim to form an X or criss-cross over each egg in the muffin tin. Some basket handles may pull away during baking…not to worry as they will be covered with coconut when decorated.
  10. Press gently into a lightly greased muffin tin. Carefully press dough to the inside of each muffin cup.
  11. With a small fork, pierce the bottom of each cup.
  12. Place 1 colored egg into each cup, wide side down.
  13. Take 2 strips for each muffin and criss-cross over the egg, pinching onto the edge of the basket. Make sure you get the egg as straight as possible as they may shift in baking.
  14. Bake at 350º F for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned.
  15. When lightly browned, remove from the oven and place muffin tin on a cooling rack. Let cool for about 1 hour then remove from tin and continue cooling on a rack.
  16. Put the shredded coconut and a few drops of green food coloring into a large plastic food bag. Shake well until the desired color is achieved. Add more if you want a darker green. (Can also be mixed with a fork in a bowl)
  17. In a small bowl whisk the confectioner’s powdered sugar with 1-2 Tablespoons milk and 1/2 tsp of Fiori di Sicilia flavoring.  Immediately use a  small pastry brush, paint the icing onto the basket strips then dip in colored sprinkles.
  18. Take a pastry brush and paint the basket perimeter with icing, then dip the basket perimeter into the colored coconut and pat lightly, making sure to cover well. Gently shake excess coconut off.
  19. Store in a tightly covered food container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  20. Best served with a hot cup of coffee for the adults or a glass of milk for the kids!

Notes: The baked texture should be similar to scones. The colored raw egg will become hard-boiled after baking is complete.

For Food Safety, do not leave cooked eggs out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. If you won’t be serving the same day, refrigerate and allow to reach room temperature before serving.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.