3 GRAINS NEAPOLITAN PASTIERA
Recipe Created By:
What you will need
For shortcrust pastry
- 315 g of plain flour
- 180 g of softened unsalted butter
- 135 g of caster sugar
- 3 egg yolks
For the 3 grains base:
- 100 g of Riso Gallo RUSTICO 3 GRAINS MIX
- 400 ml of whole milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 20 g of unsalted butter
- 250 g of water
- 150 g of sugar
- Orange zest
For the filling:
- Riso Gallo RUSTICO 3 GRAINS base
- 400 g of soft ricotta cheese
- 1 g of cinnamon powder
- 2 large beaten eggs
- 5 ml of orange essence (or 15 g of chopped candied peels)
How to prepare:
The Neapolitan Pastiera is an iconic cake/tart not only in the city of Naples but over the whole south of Italy. A sweet pie that is alway found on the tables during the easter holidays which is synonymous of family gatherings and Sunday lunches. The shortcrust crunchy base and the aromatic rustic chunky filling made of cooked wheat, ricotta and candied fruit makes it recognisable and loved all over the country, so much so that more versions of it came to life while families and mammas started to experimenting with their own recipes.
There is one which I took the idea from, and that is the Pastiera di riso which substitutes the wheat with rice cooked in milk and sugar. I thought how can I improve it? The idea of having flavoursome cereals like barley and spelt together with rice came to mind as a find that rice only gave it great consistency and textures but the Pastiera lose some of its lovely rustic-ness.
The main benefit of having a product like Riso Gallo 3 Grains Mix, with barley, spelt and parboiled rice is that those 3 grains will cook together with the same timings creating a wonderful result of textures and flavours.
Chef tip: Tif you cannot find the orange essence, feel free to add a spoon of finely chopped candied lemon and orange peels.
Start by making the base in advance. Pass the flour through a fine sieve and beat the butter with the sugar until pale. Now add the flour and egg yolks and knead until well combined and smooth. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes wrapped in cling film. Work the pastry when cold.
With the help of a rolling pin flattened the pastry until you have a 1 cm thin round sheet. Now line a cake tin large enough for 6 slice with parchment and carefully place the pasty in making sure all edges are at least 3 cm high. Rolling the pastry onto the rolling pin could be helpful in this process to move the pastry. With a pairing knife remove the excess of pastry to be use later as decorative strips. Let the base set well in the fridge.
Prepare the 3 Cereals base. Combine all the ingredient in a large pot and gently bring it to the boiling point. Simmer until the grains are soft cooked and the liquid are absorbed. Mix it with a wooden spatula as it cooked. The result should look like a creamy but firm risotto look alike. Remove the cinnamon stick and orange zest and let it cool in a bowl.
Now add the rest of the ingredients to the cooked grain base and combine well together. Pour the mixture into the cake base until around 2.5 cm high (just below the edge you have cut) and decorate with the remaining pastry creating the classic ‘Italian crostata’ strips pattern on the top of the pie.
Now bake the pie at 160/170 (with the oven fan half power if you have) for about 40/45 minutes or until well golden. It is good practise to check if the filling is well firm and stable before taking it out of the oven, if it is still a bit runny, lower the temperature by 10 degrees and keep cooking it for 10 more minutes until ready.