Italian Traditional Easter Pastiera

 Family recipe from Zia Melina
                  Part of our Zia series



Thanks to: Olga Stinga


    who shared Zia Melina’s treasure with us

If you are traveling to Italy take advantage of an unique experience learning Italian at Sant’Anna Institute Special rates for readers of this blog!



Easter is coming soon!  
The residents of Sorrento  are getting prepared for all the Holy Week events and in particular for the Holy Processions.     

In preparation for the traditional events of

Holy Thursday and Good Friday, the men in Sorrento  hardly work their usual jobs and spend their time preparing for the processions that the entire town attends between God Thursday and God  Friday.

The processions begin at 3 and 4 am….. while men are participating in the holy processions, women are busy preparing pastiere (Easter pie).  The pastiera, known and appreciated all over the world, never fails to be on the Easter menu of the Sorrentine people.  

My Aunt Melina   used to prepare the pastiere (at least 10) during this special night and it was very common that  when the hooded men passed by the balcony of her kitchen they could smell the flavors of cinnamon, , vanilla and orange course of pastiere.

Easter Traditions, like recipes are passed down from parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts to children and they will be like a jewel to be preserved and saved in a secret and safe place.
This is the case of the recipes that my aunts shared with me.   …You can immagine that atmosphere but you shoudl visit the Sorrento Pensinsula to breath the scents, view the sea and experience the unique lifestyle.

Aunt Melina with Olga
I’ll never forget those nights spent asleep waiting for the Holy Processions that had to pass by our balcony and preparing the pastiere!
Every family recipe is passed down through generation and guarded  jealously.

My aunt taught me all
the secrets of the typical
Sorrentine Pastiera.

Below you can find the ingredients and instructions.
INGREDIENTS FOR PASTRY (if you buy a loaf frozen must be 1 kg) 600 grams of flour, 200 grams of sugar, 200 grams of butter, 4 eggs, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 2 packets of vanilla
8 eggs (6 + 2 yolks), 600 grams of precooked wheat (found in packs of 580 grams that are sufficient), 600 grams of sugar, 700 g cheese, 150 grams of mixed candied fruit, 1 orange (pressed) , 350 grams of milk, 2 packets of vanilla, 1 tablespoon of butter (about 30 g), 1 vial of orange flowers, 1 pinch of cinnamon (optional)

1. Cook the corn with the milk and butter for about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently until everything becomes creamy. Let cool and refrigerate, covered, until the next day 

2.  Work the sugar with the ricotta cheese with a whisk, the mixture is soft and smooth. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator     

1. Prepare the pastry by placing in a bowl with the flour in the center sugar, eggs, butter, diced, baking powder and vanilla. Work the pastry quickly until it forms a ball of dough. Leave the pastry in the refrigerator covered with a plastic film for half an hour
2. Combine the two mixtures prepared the day before (cheese and wheat) gently, then add the eggs one at a time, the pieces of candied fruit, the vial of millefiori, the pressed orange, vanilla, cinnamon (if necessary).
3. Roll out the pastry with a rolling pin on floured parchment paper (keep aside a bit ‘for the decorative strips) and then gently flip it into a mold pastiera, placing the edges well.

4. Pour in the filling and then cover with strips of arranged in a pastry, cut with a wave washer, arranged in a way as to create diamonds.

5. Bake the pastiera to 180 degree (preheated oven) for about 80 minutes. The cooking time may vary depending on how much higher the pastiera, an hour could be enough, it is important to constantly monitor the baking, the pastiera should be amber.

“The pastiera is the cake that has accompanied since my childhood nights between Thursday and Friday. In Sorrento we usual prepare pastiere porprio while they are marching in the streets of the city in the Holy Week processions.
While men are busy with processions, we women are dedicated to the preparation of Easter cakes and in particular of pastiere.
Melina my aunt taught me and passed on the secrets of true Pastiera tradition Sorrento and even today, just like her, I prepare the pastiere during the night between Thursday and Friday while waiting for the processions unwind under my window.   You can smell  cinnamon, vanilla, orange flower and pastiere freshly baked.”

 Italian Version 

La Pastiera è il dolce che ha accompagnato sin dalla mia infanzia le notti tra il Giovedì ed il venerdì Santo. A Sorrento samo soliti preparare le pastiere porprio mentre stanno sfilando per le strade della città le Processioni della Settimana Santa. Mentre gli uomini sono impegnati con le Processioni, noi donne ci dedichiamo alla preparazione dei dolci pasquali ed in particolare delle Pastiere. Mia zia Melina mi ha insegnato e trasmetto i segreti della vera Pastiera della tradizione Sorrentina e, ancora oggi, proprio come lei, io preparo le Pastiere durante la notte tra il Giovedì ed il Venerdì santo mentre aspetto che le processioni sfilino sotto la mia finestra da cui si propagano odori di cannella, vanillina, fior d’arancio e pastiere appena sfornate.
Desidero condividere la ricetta che zia Melina mi ha tramandato ed anche una foto che ritrae me bambina proprio con lei pochi giorni prima della Pasqua!

INGREDIENTI PER LA PASTA FROLLA (se la si acquista congelata occorre un panetto da 1 kg)

600 gr di farina, 200 gr di zucchero, 200 gr di burro, 4 uova, 1 cucchiaio di lievito per dolci, 2 bustine di vanillina


8 uova (6 + 2 tuorli), 600 gr di grano precotto (si trova in confezioni da 580 gr che sono sufficienti), 600 gr di zucchero, 700 gr di ricotta, 150 gr di canditi misti, 1 arancia (premuta), 350 gr di latte, 2 bustine di vanillina, 1 noce di burro (circa 30 gr), 1 fiala di fiori d’arancio, 1 pizzico di cannella (facoltativo)


1. Cuocere il grano con il latte e il burro per circa 15-20 minuti, mescolando spesso finché il tutto diventerà cremoso. Far raffreddare e conservare in frigo, coperto, fino al giorno dopo
2. Lavorare lo zucchero con la ricotta con un frustino, rendere il composto soffice e liscio. Coprire bene e conservare in frigo


1. Preparare la pasta frolla disponendo in una ciotola la farina con al centro lo zucchero, le uova, il burro a tocchetti, il lievito e la vanillina. Lavorare velocemente la frolla fino a formare una palla con l’impasto. Lasciare riposare la pasta frolla in frigo ricoperta da una pellicola per mezz’ora
2. Unire i due composti preparati il giorno prima (ricotta e grano) delicatamente, poi unire le uova una alla volta, i canditi a pezzetti, la fiala di millefiori, la premuta di arancia, la vanillina, la cannella (eventualmente).
3. Stendere con un matterello la pasta frolla su carta forno infarinata (tenendone da parte un po’ per le strisce decorative) e poi capovolgerla delicatamente in uno stampo da pastiera, sistemando bene i bordi.
4. Versare la farcia e poi coprire con strisce di pasta frolla, tagliate con un rondella ondulata, disposte in modo tale da ottenere dei rombi.
5. Infornare la pastiera a 180 gradi (forno già caldo) per circa 80 minuti. Il tempo di cottura comunque può variare molto a seconda di quanto è alta la pastiera, potrebbe bastare un’ora, è importante controllare costantemente la cottura: la pastiera deve risultare ambrata.


Published by Lee Laurino

A traveler not a tourist, searching for experiences not in travel books. Solo traveler who travels as long and far as possible sharing photos of the people and places I discover

One thought on “Italian Traditional Easter Pastiera

  1. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said \”You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.\” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!Here is my homepage – lasertest


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s