Pastiera, a Traditional Italian Easter Dessert

March 26, 2015 9:53 PM

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Pastiera, a Traditional Italian Easter Dessert

ITALIANS TAKE their traditions seriously, with unwritten yet immutable rules governing all aspects of each holiday celebration. But of all the holidays, it is Easter that is celebrated with perhaps the most fastidiousness. And in southern Italy, Easter means only one thing, food-wise: pastiera. This wheat and ricotta pie flavored with orange blossom water and decorated with a lattice top is the only acceptable dessert at this time of year.

There are as many pastiera recipes as there are Italian families, but at heart it’s a simple concoction: sweet shortcrust pastry filled with a mixture of eggs, sugar, ricotta and wheat. Some add candied fruit, while others swear by the inclusion of confectioner’s cream. I have stuck with the traditi...

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