Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Favorite: Italian Wheat Pie

Peeps, jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and Cadbury Creme Eggs are a few of every one's favorite treats at Easter.  I love to find these candies in my Easter basket but something else that I enjoy doesn't come out until dessert on Easter, Italian Wheat Pie!  

This is a popular pie from Italy and I'm lucky to have been able to enjoy my Italian Grandmother's recipe for years. Sadly, this is the first Easter without my Nana.  My family would look forward to having Easter pies that she baked every year, so to keep with the tradition my mother gave it a try this year.  She baked her first Easter Wheat Pie tonight so we can enjoy it tomorrow for dessert.  I haven't tasted it yet but it looks delicious.  I wanted to share the recipe with you all in case you need something special to serve your friends and family tomorrow.  The recipe that my mom used for the filling and crust is below.  

Along with the rich flavors of this pie come its rich history. Wheat pies are also know as "Neapolitan Pastiera".  Pastiera is a traditional Easter dessert from Naples and it calls for a crust called pasta frolla.  The crust is unique other pie crust because it resembles a sweet pastry. 

Preheat the oven to 350

Pasta Frolla (crust) 
3 1/2 cups flour
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter (soften)
1/2 cup sugar
rind of 1 lemon grated
pinch of salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
Place the crust in a 9 " pie dish. Cut the extra off and use that to create strips to use on the top of the pie.

1/2 cup of grano cotto (cooked wheat in Italian)  
1 lb. ricotta cheese
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup of whole milk 

Mix all wet ingredients together by using an electric blender.  Add dry ingredients to the mix until it's well blended.  Then pour the mixture in the pie crust.  Now, place the strips of crust on top creating a basket weave look.  Place in the oven for an hour and 10 minutes. Let cool for at least three house before serving. Happy Easter! 

My mom's first Easter Pie

Jelly Beans, another one of my favs for Easter

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