Italian Easter Wheat Pie (Pastiera di Grano)

Judy's Culinaria

Easter morning was one of the most exciting days of the year when I was growing up. After the baskets were opened and we attended church services (in our new Easter clothes), we drove up to North Jersey to visit my grandmother and have Easter dinner with my mom’s family. I remember driving by Italian pastry shops and seeing lines of customers out the door waiting to pick up Easter specialties, particularly wheat or rice pies. They are also know as Pastiera or Torta di Grano, a southern Italian dessert. For those who may not be familiar with wheat pie, it is a ricotta cheesecake, encased in a sweet pie crust (pasta frolla) that contains wheat and is traditionally flavored with citrus. The pies I have tasted are flavored with orange flower water (available at Middle Eastern and Mediterranean markets). You can use rice in place of…

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