Family recipe from Zia Melina
Part of our Zia series
Thanks to: Olga Stinga
Easter is coming soon!
The residents of Sorrento are getting prepared for all the Holy Week events and in particular for the Holy Processions.
In preparation for the traditional events of
Holy Thursday and Good Friday, the men in Sorrento hardly work their usual jobs and spend their time preparing for the processions that the entire town attends between God Thursday and God Friday.
The processions begin at 3 and 4 am..... while men are participating in the holy processions, women are busy preparing pastiere (Easter pie). The pastiera, known and appreciated all over the world, never fails to be on the Easter menu of the Sorrentine people.
My Aunt Melina used to prepare the pastiere (at least 10) during this special night and it was very common that when the hooded men passed by the balcony of her kitchen they could smell the flavors of cinnamon, , vanilla and orange course of pastiere.
Easter Traditions, like recipes are passed down from parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts to children and they will be like a jewel to be preserved and saved in a secret and safe place.
This is the case of the recipes that my aunts shared with me. ...You can immagine that atmosphere but you shoudl visit the Sorrento Pensinsula to breath the scents, view the sea and experience the unique lifestyle.
I'll never forget those nights spent asleep waiting for the Holy Processions that had to pass by our balcony and preparing the pastiere!
Every family recipe is passed down through generation and guarded jealously.
My aunt taught me all
the secrets of the typical
Below you can find the ingredients and instructions.
INGREDIENTS FOR PASTRY (if you buy a loaf frozen must be 1 kg) 600 grams of flour, 200 grams of sugar, 200 grams of butter, 4 eggs, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 2 packets of vanilla
INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING
8 eggs (6 + 2 yolks), 600 grams of precooked wheat (found in packs of 580 grams that are sufficient), 600 grams of sugar, 700 g cheese, 150 grams of mixed candied fruit, 1 orange (pressed) , 350 grams of milk, 2 packets of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of butter (about 30 g), 1 vial of orange flowers, 1 pinch of cinnamon (optional)
PROCEDURES FIRST DAY
1. Cook the corn with the milk and butter for about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently until everything becomes creamy. Let cool and refrigerate, covered, until the next day
2. Work the sugar with the ricotta cheese with a whisk, the mixture is soft and smooth. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator
PROCEDURES SECOND DAY
1. Prepare the pastry by placing in a bowl with the flour in the center sugar, eggs, butter, diced, baking powder and vanilla. Work the pastry quickly until it forms a ball of dough. Leave the pastry in the refrigerator covered with a plastic film for half an hour
2. Combine the two mixtures prepared the day before (cheese and wheat) gently, then add the eggs one at a time, the pieces of candied fruit, the vial of millefiori, the pressed orange, vanilla, cinnamon (if necessary).
3. Roll out the pastry with a rolling pin on floured parchment paper (keep aside a bit 'for the decorative strips) and then gently flip it into a mold pastiera, placing the edges well.
4. Pour in the filling and then cover with strips of arranged in a pastry, cut with a wave washer, arranged in a way as to create diamonds.
5. Bake the pastiera to 180 degree (preheated oven) for about 80 minutes. The cooking time may vary depending on how much higher the pastiera, an hour could be enough, it is important to constantly monitor the baking, the pastiera should be amber.
"The pastiera is the cake that has accompanied since my childhood nights between Thursday and Friday. In Sorrento we usual prepare pastiere porprio while they are marching in the streets of the city in the Holy Week processions.
While men are busy with processions, we women are dedicated to the preparation of Easter cakes and in particular of pastiere.
Melina my aunt taught me and passed on the secrets of true Pastiera tradition Sorrento and even today, just like her, I prepare the pastiere during the night between Thursday and Friday while waiting for the processions unwind under my window. You can smell cinnamon, vanilla, orange flower and pastiere freshly baked."