This is based on a pastiera di grano. The pastiera di grano is an awesome Italian Easter pie–orange scented ricotta custard studded with wheat berries or grains of rice and baked in a pie shell. I kind of hate pie crust, so I decided to make a version sans crust.
½ cup heavy cream
6 medium eggs
1 ½ sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Zest of one 2-inch orange
1 ½ pounds drained ricotta
¾ cup cooked wheat berries or rice (I totally used wheat berries)
Melted dark chocolate for serving
Candied orange peel for serving
Preheat oven to 350.
Beat cream and eggs together until blended.
Stir in sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and zest.
Beat in ricotta.
Grease a 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Cover bottom with part of the custard mixture.
Sprinkle wheat berries evenly over the custard. Top with the remaining custard.
Bake in a hot water bath until set, about twenty minutes.
Serve very cold with melted chocolate and candied orange peel.
I really recommend serving it with a bitter chocolate for balance. Also, wheat berries have a chewy sort of texture. If you don’t think you’ll appreciate it (or already know you don’t) soak the wheat berries overnight before cooking them. Or use rice instead.
What do you have for Easter? Have you ever had wheat pie/pastiera di grano? How’d it go?