The lemon pastiera is a variant perfumed with the citrus fruit of the traditional Neapolitan cake, an inevitable protagonist of the Easter days when our tables are filled with delicious and rich, sweet and savory dishes. Neapolitan pastiera is a rich preparation in which the shortcrust pastry meets a base of cooked wheat and a delicious ricotta cream: it is a bit difficult but with our recipe it will be quite easy, just follow our advice step by step and your lemon pastiera will make everyone happy!
Place the flour on a flat surface, placing the eggs, softened butter, vanillin, sugar and vanillin in the center (1). Knead with your hands until all the ingredients are mixed and form a smooth and homogeneous dough, working not too vigorously to prevent it from becoming hard (2). Wrap it with a sheet of plastic wrap and place it to rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours (3).
Pour the milk, sugar, butter, whole lemon peel and wheat into a saucepan (4). Cook on a low heat until the wheat has absorbed all the milk (5), mix with a wooden spoon and after 30 minutes remove the lemon peel and let it cool (6).
Add the milk in a saucepan with the fragrance of vanilla and lemon peel. Cook over a gentle heat until it boils. Beat the eggs with the sugar and flour in a bowl until the mixture is frothy (4). Add the boiling milk and stir until creamy (5). Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over a low heat until a thick, lump-free cream is obtained. Remove from heat and let it cool (6).
Carefully crush the ricotta cheese so that you lose the excess serum. Combine it in a bowl with the custard, the wheat cream, 4 whole eggs, the sugar, the candied fruit, the vanillin and the vial of orange flower water. Mix the ingredients with the electric whisk until the mixture is homogeneous (7). Take the dough and roll 3/4 of the dough with the help of a rolling pin forming a sheet of half a centimeter. Put the dough in a pan of about 24 cm and prick it with a fork so as to prevent bubbles from forming (8). Pour the obtained cream and level with a pastry spatula. With the remaining shortcrust pastry, form strips with which you will have to decorate the pastiera forming rhombuses (9). Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees in ventilated mode. Let it cool before serving and garnish with a layer of powdered sugar!
For the preparation of the lemon pastiera we recommend using fresh and high quality ricotta cheese, for a more compact and dry filling it is preferable to use ricotta cheese of sheep. For a lighter meal, ricotta cheese of cow is recommended.
You can also add a teaspoon of cinnamon to your stuffing.