Did you known that...
The Napoletana pastiera was the only thing that could cheer up Queen Maria Theresa of Habsburg? After her husband, Ferdinand II of Bourbon, the King of the two Sicilies, was able to convince her to taste the slice of pastiera, the Queen, also known as the “queen who never smiles,” smiled in satisfaction.
*Gran cotto can be purchased in jars from Italian delicatessens.
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, simmer for 10 minutes until thick bubbles start to form. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl combine the ricotta, warm milk and sultanas and whisk together until smooth.
Beat the egg yolks, sugar and orange blossom water together until smooth and creamy and then add to the ricotta mixture.
Preheat the oven to 150C. Sift flour, icing sugar and salt together then rub in the butter. Beat the eggs with a fork and work into the flour. Form a ball with the dough, wrap in cling wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for one hour. Sprinkle flour on a bench top and on a rolling pin and roll out the dough to a thickness of approx 5mm. Cut the pastry into a large circle shape wide enough to line the base and sides of a large, deep flan tin. Cut off excess pastry and set aside.
Pour the filling into the pastry case. Cut the remaining pastry into 2cm strips and lay across the pie to form a lattice.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 1 ½ hours until golden and firm. Turn off the oven and leave tart in the oven for a further 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving. To serve, dust with icing sugar.
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