Recipe for Neapolitan Easter Cake


2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup plus 1 t sugar
7 tablespoon unsalted soft butter
3 tablespoon vegetable shortening
3 each egg yolks
1 each whole egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon or orange rind 1/4 t; sp cinnamon
1/2 cup long-grain rice
2 each square baking chocolate
1 lb ricotta
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 medium egg yolks at room temp
1 tablespoon candied citron
1 each lemon rind, grated
1/4 cup rum -or-
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 each egg whites at room temp


Pasta Frolla: Sift the flour and make it into a mound on your counter or pastry board. Add the sugar and turn the mound into a crater. Add the soft butter and the shortening in small dabs. Lightly beat the egg yolks and the whole egg and add them to the center of the crater. Start beating the egg more thoroughly with a fork, around and around the center, picking up flour, butter, and shortening as you beat. Continue until the flour, shortening, butter and egg are all well mixed. Add the grated rind, put aside the fork, and work with your hands until everything begins to stick together and form a buttery, soft dough. It is very like cookie dough and should not be handled excessively. Shape it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it for at least a half an hour. Filling: Cook the rice, rinse it with cold water in a colander, and set it aside to cool. Melt the chocolate in a small double boiler and cool. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Put the ricotta in a large bowl and beat it with an eggbeater until smooth. Add 1 c of the sugar and stir in the egg yolks, one by one, mixing after each addition until well blended. Add the citron, cinnamon, lemon rind, chocolate, and run (or vanilla). In a separate bowl, whip the 2 egg whites with the last of the sugar until stiff and fold them into the egg-ricotta mixture. Lastly, fold in the cooked rice. Break off about 2/3 piece of the pasta frolla, roll it into a round, and place it in the bottom of a buttered 10- or 12- inch ckae or spring-form pan. Spread it out carefully along the bottom of the pan, pushing with your fingers, and up the sides about 1 1/2 inches. Pour in the beaten ricotta mixture. Flour the counter, roll out the remaining dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick, cut into 1/2-inch strips with a pastry cutter or knife, and place them lattice fashion on top of the pastiera. Brush with a bit of slightly beaten egg white (one left over from the pasta frolla). Bake one hour, or until the lattice of the pasta frolla is nicely toasted and cooked through. Coll before serving.

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