Do you have a passion for sweets? Here are the useful tools in the kitchen to make them

Dolci tipici: la pastiera di Pasqua

Pastry is chemistry, baking is science. That's why making pastries is so satisfying, putting ingredients together we get something absolutely magical that can succeed...or fail!

It is precisely this magic that drives dessert lovers in their creations where they can experiment or perfect ancient culinary traditions.

Today we are talking about a typical Easter dessert in Campania, the wheat pastiera, but also about all the kitchen utensils that are indispensable for those who want to make perfect desserts.

Wheat pastiera, the Easter sweet

Pastiera was a sweet already present in ancient times, and it was cooked in honor of pagan gods. A recipe book of the end of the seventeenth century lists its ingredients: wheat, ricotta cheese, sugar and eggs as well as pepper and parmesan cheese! It is certainly known its origin is from Campania region as it is defined as a preparation "alla napolitana".

The pastiera as we know it today was invented between the sixteenth and seventeenth century in the convents of Campania and then spread to become a patrimony of all Neapolitan families. Pastiera is prepared on Holy Thursday and consumed on Sunday.

It is, still today, a ritual which brings together different generations and which talks about sharing and family.

The recipe of wheat pastiera

Pastry Ingredients:

330 g flour + 6-7 g for the pastry board165
g soft butter at room temperature130
g granulated sugar1
medium egg2
small yolks the
tip of 1 teaspoon of yeast
1 level teaspoon of orange blossom flavor if using diluted orange blossom flavor; 2 drops if using concentrated orange blossom flavor
1 grated peel of
1 lemon
1 pinch of salt

    For the ricotta cream

    350 g perfectly drained sheep ricotta
    300g sugar
    3 medium eggs
    2 medium yolks
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    4 tablespoons orange blossom flavor if you're using the diluted kind; 1 tablespoon if you're using the concentrated kind
    70g mixed candied fruit

      For cream of wheat

      300 g cooked pastry wheat
      200g fresh whole milkwhole
      peel of 1 orangewhole
      peel of 1 lemon
      25g butter

        Procedure. To prepare the shortcrust pastry, whip the soft butter, sugar, lemon rind and orange blossom flavouring with an electric whisk or planetary mixer until the mixture is creamy. Add the egg and yolks one at a time. Finally, a pinch of salt, flour and baking powder.

        Work the dough to compact it by hand, seal the shortcrust pastry in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 12 hours. Always at least 12 h before draining well the ricotta depriving it of liquids as much as possible, combine it with sugar, turn well and let rest covering with the film.

        Separately pour the cooked wheat with milk, butter and citrus peels. Cook for 25 - 30 minutes, stirring continuously. You will obtain a cream from which the citrus peels will be removed. Blend part of it to obtain a creamier mixture.

        The ricotta cream must be smooth and for this reason it must be sifted, then add the cinnamon (optional), turn well and amalgamate the eggs and yolks, one at a time. Finally, add orange blossom aroma.

        When the cream of wheat becomes cold, add it to the ricotta cream and candied fruit, thus completing the filling. Now you have to roll out the dough (about 4 mm) and lay it on the buttered and floured pastiera mold.

        Pour the filling leaving 6 -7 mm of space from the edge and decorate with the typical pasta strips. The pastiera should be cooked at a low temperature, 160° - 150°, for at least one hour.

        After having checked the cooking, it can be baked for the next 10 minutes at 180° to brown it. The important thing is to let it rest in the oven for at least 30 min.

        Indispensable tools for preparing your cakes

        For the preparation of the pastiera loves also other desserts is essential to equip themselves with bowls of different sizes like those of the WMF set for different ingredients and methods of preparation: from bowls to whip cream or beat eggs to large kitchen bowls ideal for mixing.

        You can also make small cookies with the leftover shortbread. A set of cookie cutters is a must-have in the house, with the most varied shapes to use strictly with the little ones!

        Finally, consider the idea of making mini portions to give as gifts using small tart molds. You can then share your passion for sweets with all your loved ones.