Easter Italian Recipes Italian Pastries

How to make Pastierra di Grana and Pastierra di Arancia

pastierra di grana

Have a grand Easter with pastierra! I am sharing with you two pastierra recipes. One is very traditional and the other is a little easier to make. Also, the second recipe can be made with precooked wheat instead of the rice.


Pastierra di Grana

pastierra di grana 2


For the sweet short crust pastry:

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/3 sticks butter, at room temperature, diced
  • grated zest of 1 lemon

For the filling:

  • 1 can precooked wheat (14 oz. )
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon zest
  • ½ – 1 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 8 oz. ricotta – drained
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 ¾ cups icing sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cups mixed candied peel – your favorite
  • 1 ½  tbsp. orange-flower water
  • zest from ½ lemon
  • zest from ½ orange
  • sieved icing sugar, to sprinkle over the top


  1. Prepare a 1 x 10-inch round shallow cake pan.
  2. Make the pastry. Sift the flour onto a work surface and make a well in the center. Add the eggs, sugar, butter and half the lemon zest (reserve the rest for the filling) and lightly blend everything together with your fingertips until you have a smooth dough.
  3. Wrap in a plastic wrap or cling film, then chill for 1 hour. Roll out thinly and use to line a 9-inch loose-bottomed tart tin.
  4. Place in the fridge until ready to use. Do not discard the pastry trimmings. Instead, shape them into a ball, wrap in saran and place in the fridge also.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350ºdegrees.
  6. Place the wheat, milk, vanilla essence and 1 tablespoon lemon zest in a small saucepan. Mix well together and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer until the wheat has absorbed all the liquid. Then leave to cool.
  7. Mash the ricotta with a fork and beat in the egg yolk until you get a light and fluffy consistency.
  8. Beat in the icing sugar until well incorporated, followed by the candied peel, orange-flower water, lemon zest and orange zest. Stir in the cooled wheat mixture.
  9. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then fold into the mixture and gently mix together until all the ingredients are well combined. Remove the pastry case from the fridge and pour in the mixture.
  10. With the remaining pastry, roll out quite thinly and cut out into 1-inch strips – roughly the size of the cake tin.
  11. Arrange the strips crisscross over the top by roughly 1-inch, trimming any excess pastry and pressing the edges against the lined pastry.
  12. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes. Leave to cool, then sprinkle with sieved icing sugar.
  13. There you have it! Slice and serve your traditional pastierra di grana.


Pastierra di Arancia

pastierra di arancia


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsps. baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 stick unsalted butter – melted
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 additional stick unsalted butted – room temp
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 lbs. whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 14 large eggs
  • 5 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • grated zest of 1 large orange


  1. First make the crust. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, eggs, melted butter and milk in a large of electric mixer and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes until smooth.
  2. Lightly butter a 10 x 15-inch baking dish.  Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the dish as evenly as possible. Set aside. Note: If your kitchen is very warm, refrigerate the pan until the filling is ready.
  3. Next, make the filling. Preheat the oven to 350º. 
  4. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add the ricotta, heavy cream, eggs and vanilla and continue beating until all are fully incorporated, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula several times. Fold in the rice and orange zest with the spatula.
  6. Pour the filling over the prepared crust and bake until the edges are golden brown and set, but make sure the center is still a little jiggly. You can also place some dough strips in crisscross on top, if desired.
  7. Bake for 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours 15 minutes. Then, let it cool thoroughly before slicing.
  8. Serve and enjoy your pastierra di grana. Have a wonderful Easter!

Want to know more about Easter in Italy? Read here!

Buon Mangiata!

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