Here is the legend that goes with the Pie:
he Legends. There are different legends about the Origin of the Pastiera, one is that the priestesses of Ceres were celebrating the return of Spring. Another possibility is that they derived from ritual pie at the time of Constantine the Great, they were the offers of the baptismal ritual. But as we know the Pastiera today, it comes from the Monasteries of Naples. It was the symbol of the Resurrection on Easter. Very charming is the legend of the siren Partenope, that since she was enchanted by the beauty of the Gulf of Naples, that established there her home. She used to cheer with beautiful love songs, and one day her voice was so melodious that the residents wanted to thank for her wonderful singing. The seven most beautiful girls were responsible for delivering seven gifts to the beautiful mermaid Partenope. The flour symbol of strength and wealth of the campaign. Ricotta homage of the shepherds and sheep. The egg symbol of life. Wheat flour, boiled in to the milk, a symbol of the two kingdoms of nature. The water of orange flowers, because even the smells of the earth wanted to pay homage. The spices that represented the people far away and finally the sugar, the symbol of the sweetness of her singing in heaven, on earth, and throughout the universe. Partenope was so ‘happy with the gifts that it take them at the foot of the Gods. They were so inebriated by the smells and aromas that they decided to mix and create a dessert worthy of the beauty of the hand of Partenope. So was born the Pastiera.
- For the Grain:
- 1 can Cooked Grain ( You can find it in Italian store)
- 7 oz Sugar
- 1-1/3 Milk and heavy cream
- 2 oz Butter unsalted
- 2 tbsp Lemon and Orange Extract (Acqua di Fiori d’Arancio)
- 2 tbsp Candied Fruit
- Cook over very low heat for 4 hours, turning often. Cook it the day before because must cool and rested
- The Filling:
- 21 oz. Ricotta Cheese (if you can find Sheep) sweet
- 19 oz. Sugar
- 5 Eggs + 2 Yolks
- 2 tbsp Vanilla
- 2 tbsp Lemon and Orange Extract (Acqua di Fiori di Arancio)
- 2 cups Candied Fruit
- Pasta Frolla Italian Sweet Pastry Dough:
- 21 oz. Flour 00 (Cake Flour)
- 5 oz. Sugar
- 3 Eggs Yolk
- 5 oz. Butter
- 1 pinch of Salt
- Powdered Sugar
Not done yet:
- For the Pasta Frolla:
- In the food processor place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pulse several times to mix.
- Add butter and pulse about 10 times to mix. Add eggs and pulse until dough forms a ball.
- Form dough into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the fridge until needed, up to several days.
- When ready to use, unwrap it, place it on a lightly floured work surface and knead it until it is soft and malleable.
- Sometimes is easier to work on wax paper. In Italy the pastry is used for tarts, cakes and special cakes.
- For the Mix:
- In a large bowl mix the grain cooked the day before, the sugar with the ricotta, egg yolks, vanilla, lemon and orange extract and the candied fruit.
- Whip the egg whites and gently incorporate with a spatula from the bottom upwards.
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin and place it on a buttered and floured baking pan.
- Bake for about 50 minutes at 350F. Let cool and dust with powder sugar.
Many like it when it has been cooled in the fridge for a couple of days….
I never liked the candied fruit so mine lacks it in the pie, but I do use it to perfume the milk
I also love to use heavy cream to cut the milk
I will not use margarine…