Ingredients for the short-crust pastry
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
1 ¼ cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
1 egg yolk
1 ½ cups Italian organic 00 flour
1 cup Italian organic semolina
Seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla pod
Zest (grated) of 1 organic orange
Ingredients for the filling
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon of orange flower water (or to taste)
Zest of 1 organic orange, grated
¼ cup (2 ounces) chopped candied orange peel
2/3 cup cooked wheatberries (see directions in notes at end of recipe)
¼ cup milk
2 ½ tablespoons butter
Ingredients for the Pâte à Bombe
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon water
½ cup sugar
Seeds scraped from ½ vanilla pod (optional)
1 sachet powdered gelatin
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
Method for the short-crust pastry:
In a large bowl, work the butter with the sugar and a pinch of salt, until it is very soft. Add the grated orange zest, the vanilla seeds, the whole egg and the egg yolk; mix together well until the ingredients are completely absorbed.
Add the organic flour a little at a time, working quickly for a few minutes, until the dough is very smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
In a bowl, combine the sugar, the ricotta, orange flower water, orange zest and the candied orange peel. Mix until the ingredients are well blended; place, covered, in the refrigerator.
Next, boil the milk together with the wheatberries until most of the liquid is absorbed, then mix in the butter and let it cool.
When cool, add to the ricotta mixture which has been placed in the refrigerator and chill again until ready to use.
In the meantime, prepare the Pâte à Bombe: bring the water with the sugar and the vanilla pod to 250F degrees then sprinkle on the gelatin; as it melts, stir well, until it is totally dissolved.
Pour hot liquid onto the egg yolks, whipping with a whisk briskly, to keep the yolks from curdling or scrambling.
Remove the ricotta wheat mixture from the refrigerator and mix in the egg yolk mixture, using a spatula with a movement of top to bottom, over and under. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill, until the next day.
When ready to assemble, take the chilled mixture and place it in a pastry bag with a smooth steel nozzle. Set aside in refrigerator.
In the meantime, bake the cookie crust tartlet base.
Roll out the short-crust pastry and make 8 discs with a diameter of 3 ¼ inches and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 3-4 minutes at 350F degrees, until the discs are golden and lightly brown. Let them cool.
To make your pastiera sandwich-filled cookies take one cookie disc at a time and, using your pastry bag, form a spiral with the filling, and then close with a second cookie. Repeat 4 times and serve your delicious cookies on a decorated plate.
To cook wheatberries:
Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a medium to medium-large saucepan.
Add 1 cup wheatberries which you have rinsed in running water.
Reduce the heat from boiling to simmer and cook over this low heat until tender, checking every so often to see if they are done. Some berries are softer and take as little as 30 minutes, others are harder and can take about 90 minutes. Keep checking as you simmer, so that they don’t get mushy, only tender. Drain any excess liquid and store in refrigerator for up to 4 days. (Note: sometimes wheat berries are sold as “pearled” which means the outer bran is removed from the kernel. This makes the grains cook in about 15 minutes, though you will need to check them to be sure).
Enjoy to Chef Viviana Marrocoli!
Viviana was born in Naples and grew up among her family flavors and her grandmother’s cooking.
She attended the Gambero Rosso course in Naples, where she was able to learn from great masters such as Michele Leo, Vincenzo Bacioterracino and chef Francesco Sposito. After various experiences abroad she returned to Italy to work first in the restaurant kitchens of Lorenzo Cuomo at Re Maurì and Viviana Varese at Alice, the at the end of 2018 in the restaurant kitchen of chef Igles Corelli.
In 2020 she returned to her home town of Naples and together with her friend the businessman Pietro Micillo started a new culinary journey made of memories, tradition, and a lot of passion: the Taverna La Riggiola.