For the pasta frolla, combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips, making sure the mixture remains cool and powdery and does not become pasty. Beat the egg and milk or water together with a fork and stir into the dough. Continue stirring until the dough begins to hold together. Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface, shape into a thick disk, wrap in plastic, and chill.
Cover the wheat kernels in water and soak overnight, if possible. Drain, rinse, and place in a pan with the salt, butter, and enough water to cover by
For the pastry cream, combine the sugar and flour in a small nonreactive saucepan. Stir well to mix, and add the milk slowly, whisking it in smoothly. Whisk in the egg. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the pastry cream thickens and comes to a boil. Boil, stirring vigorously, about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and scrape into a clean bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface and chill.
To assemble the filling, beat the ricotta to soften it, then add the sugar. Beat in the eggs and remaining filling ingredients. Drain and rinse the cooked wheat and add along with the pastry cream.
Roll the reserved dough into a
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, until the filling is set and the pastry is a light gold. Cool in the pan before unmolding. To unmold, invert onto a flat plate, lift off the pan, replace the pan with another plate or platter, then reinvert so that the pastiera is right side up. Serve the pastiera at room temperature.
To simplify the recipe, omit the pastry cream and use
© 1990 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.