This recipe is more than a dessert to me! It's family! I prepared pastiera with my grandma not only for Easter as the tradition says in Naples! She was almost a professional. She prepared lots of pastiera each time. The recipe is a bit hard because the preparation is as long as the cooking time but believe me It's worth it.
350 canned presoaked grain + ½ spoon of not milled grain (for a 20 cm round pan)
90 gr milk
25 gr butter
550 gr ricotta
300 gr sugar
Orange blossom water
400 gr flour
Begin the day ahead by milling the grain to get a smooth texture than cook the grain, adding just 1 or 2 spoon of not milled grain, with the milk, zest and butter over low heat for 10 min, so that the mixture is dense and creamy.
The day after strain ricotta and stir in sugar, eggs plus yolks, vanilla, orange blossom water, cinnamon and lemon zest. When the cream is very thin, add the grain cream.
Make a mound of flour, scoop a well in the middle, and fill it with butter, sugar and eggs. Use a fork or pastry cutter to combine the ingredients, handling the dough as little as possible (don't knead it). Once you have obtained a uniform dough press it into a ball and preserve covered in the fridge.
Roll out 2/3 of the pastry dough and line the pan. Fill it with the filling. Next, roll out the remaining dough and cut it into strips, which you will want to lay across the filling in a diagonal pattern.
Preheat the oven to 150 °C and cook for an hour or slightly more. The pastry should be slightly brown and the filling firmed up but still soft and moist.
Serve without removing from the pan with some icing sugar.