Easter Grain Pie (Pastiera Di Grano)



  • 1 pound of ricotta
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 pound of raw wheat (3 cups of cooked wheat)
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 freshly squeezed orange juice and 1/2 grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup of half-n-half
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 ounces of Limoncello or Strega Liquor
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Flaky Pastry (Pasta Frolla):

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla


In a pastry blender or food processor, beat eggs and sugar together. Then, mix flour and baking powder and add to the egg mixture. Mix everything together. Then, add the melted butter, milk and vanilla. Mix it well. Remove the mixture from the pastry blender or food processor and turn onto a lightly floured board or counter. Knead the dough until smooth. Form into a ball and set it aside for a short while. Then, roll out the dough, approximately 1/4 of an inch, and line the bottom of the pie tin, cutting the excess dough around the edge of the tin. With the remaining dough, cut out long strips and set aside for decorating the top of the pie.


The night before preparing the wheat pie, soak the 1 pound of wheat in water. The following day, in a large sauce pan, cook the wheat in the same water with salt and grated orange peel, butter and orange juice until very soft. Add sugar and let it melt. Then, add ricotta, half-n-half, limoncella, nutmeg and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and fold them into the wheat mixture. Stir everything well and beat until smooth. Drop the mixture into the buttered crusted pie tin. Then, place strips of dough crisscross over the filling to the edge. Roll bottom overhand up and over strips and press firmly. Preheat the oven and bake the pie at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Let it cool. Before serving sprinkle the wheat pie with confectioner sugar.

Yields 3  9-inch pies


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