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Pastiera: A closely guarded Italian dessert recipe

Pastiera is an Italian dessert which originates from Naples. As my husband’s family is from Naples, I was fortunate enough to be given this closely guarded Italian dessert recipe which has been passed on from generation to generation. Although many pastiera recipes include candied fruits, our family recipe omits this. A few say it’s not pastiera then but many more say it’s better without the candied fruits. For me, since I don’t like candied fruits – it’s perfect.

This past Easter I made two pastieras which both turned out great! One was for the family lunch and another for a good friend who shared it with others. My sister-in-law had advised me to make the pastiera a few days in advance so that it will taste even better as the ingredients needed the time to mix. So if you can, make it a few days in advance.

In general it’s not difficult to make pastiera but for me, it took longer than I expected. The problem I had was making the crust which for most people is the easiest part. Here are some pictures of my pastiera making process. Oh one more thing – if you would like to have a copy of this Italian dessert recipe, please email me.

Pasta Frolla: Pie crust for Pastiera

Pasta Frolla - Pie Crust

This is my Achilles heel – making the crust. It looks pretty decent here in this picture but when I pick it up to lay it on to the pie pan, it starts breaking apart. Something I definitely need to work on before next Easter.
Finally pastiera pie crust done

Finally it's done! Next....

After a lot of effort, I managed to put the crust into the pan and tried to make it look decent. The fortunate thing is people don’t usually look at the crust – they just eat it!
Italian dessert recipe: Pastiera Filling

The filling is in...

Once the pie crust was covered with the pastiera filling it looked good. The crust become a none issue after that.
Pastiera - ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Using the leftover pasta frolla, cut thin strips and place them on top of the pastiera and then it’s ready to be popped into the oven for over an hour.
Pastiera ready to eat

Ready to dig in?

An here it is..the pastiera. Get ready to dig in….it’s super yummy!
Cookies made from leftover pastiera pie crust

My niece loves these cookies

There was a lot of pasta frolla left and so I decided to make cookies so my niece can have them for her mid-afternoon snack!

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  1. sylvia johnston

    I would love to have this recipe for pastiera for Easter.
    I have seen a recipe using the puff pastry–how do you feel about it?

  2. That is just beautiful. And how wonderful to have your family recipe. Isn’t it great to be able to continue the tradition? I would love to take you up on your generous offer. It is really kind of you to share. Thank you . Thanks also for the very informative post.

    • I have been preparing some of my husband’s family’s recipes precisely because I like the idea of continuing the tradition :) I am glad you enjoyed the post!

  3. Diana, I would LOVE to have this recipe! I tried it for the first time in Positano a couple of weeks ago and loved it!

    If everything works out in the next couple of weeks, I will hopefully be renting your house at the end of June next year!

    • Hi Engred,

      I would be happy to email you the recipe shortly. A good friend of mine from Naples says that our version of the pastiera is good but not the traditional one. She insists that an authentic pastiera should include the candied fruits and made a few days in advance. Did the one you try in Positano have candied fruits in them?

      Thanks for your interest in our house and if you have any questions, you can also drop me an email :-)

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