Easter Grain Pie (Pastiera Napoletana)


  • Dough:
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 12 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp Cold Water
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Grain Pie Filling:
  • 1 Cup Cooked Wheat (soft wheat berry)
  • Lemon Rind
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 15 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Eggs, Separated
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 Tbsp Orange Zest
  • 1/4 Cup Orange Juice


  1. Dough:
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour and powdered sugar; pulse to combine
  3. Slowly add in cubed butter, pulsing in between each addition to create a crumble
  4. Whisk together the egg, cold water, and lemon zest and slowly pour the egg mixture into the food processor while pulsing
  5. Continue pulsing until the dough comes together into a ball
  6. Remove the dough from the food processor and kneed on the counter until smooth
  7. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight
  8. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to sit out until it is soft enough to roll out
  9. Dust the counter top with flour and roll the dough into a 14 inch circle
  10. Place the dough into a 10” pie pan or dish
  11. Remove the excess dough from the edge of the pie pan
  12. Refrigerate the pie dough until ready to bake
  13. Wheat:
  14. Boil wheat in water with lemon rind for about 1 hour or until wheat is soft
  15. Allow the wheat to cool completely
  16. (this can be done the night before)
  17. Filling:
  18. In a small sauce pan, combine milk, butter and cooked wheat; bring to a boil
  19. Remove from the heat and allow this mixture to cool
  20. In a mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the ricotta cheese, granulated sugar, egg yolks, vanilla extract, lemon zest, orange zest and orange juice
  21. Add the milk and wheat mixture into the ricotta filling; mix until smooth
  22. In a separate mixing bowl with whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they are soft peaks
  23. Fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture and fold until fully combined
  24. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell
  25. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is gelled
  26. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool completely
  27. Refrigerate until ready to serve
  28. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top
  29. Enjoy!