An Easter Pie Recipe From Raf’s, Nolita’s Buzziest New Restaurant and Bakery

In late February, Raf’s—a new European-style dining room and bakery helmed by three Michelin-starred alums of Manhattan’s Musket Room—opened on a quiet block in Nolita. Within weeks, it became one of the most in-demand eateries in town: partly thanks to chef Mary Attea’s inventive French-Italian cuisine and dreamy decor by the Post Company, but also due to the wide array of delicious pastries they offer courtesy of James-Beard nominated chef Camari Mick. (Think prosciutto and taleggio croissants, rhubarb and ricotta danishes, lemon tonka crostatas, as well as a perfectly crisp classic baguette.) As the weather warmed, the lines soon grew out the door.

So, ahead of Easter, Vogue asked Mick to share her favorite springtime dessert. Mick came back with La Pastiera Napoletana: a traditional ricotta and fruit Neapolitan tart whose origins are rumored to date back to ancient Roman celebrations for Ceres, the goddess of spring. “Representative of what we’re doing at Raf’s, this dish takes a classic and makes it modern—with a respect for tradition,” she says.

Below, her recipe.

La Pastiera Napoletana (Easter Pie With Wheat Berries)

Vanilla sucrée dough ingredients

  • 9 oz (259 g) butter, soft
  • 6 oz (162 g) powdered sugar
  • 3 oz (86g or one extra large) eggs
  • 1.5 teaspoon (9g) vanilla paste
  • 3 ⅞ cups (485g) all-purpose flour 

Vanilla sucrée dough directions

In a mixer, cream butter ensuring not to become too fluffy. Add powdered sugar and continue paddling. Scrape the bowl, paddle in eggs one by one, and scrape the bottom of the bowl to fully incorporate. Scrape. Add flour in by thirds until fully incorporated. Scrape after each addition. Sheet to 1/16th of an inch. Bake at 325F for 6 to 10 min or until golden brown.

Wheat berry and ricotta filling ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups (454 g) fresh ricotta, well-drained
  • 1 ¼ cups (325 g) grano cotto, drained (cooked wheat berries)
  • ¼ cups (420 ml) whole milk
  • 1 ¾ cups (312 g) plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • ½ cup packed (100 g) finely
  • Finely chopped orange peel
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for finishing


  1. Prepare the sucre dough. Divide the dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other, flatten into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour.
  2. Press the ricotta through an ultrafine-mesh strainer or splatter screen into a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Butter a 10-inch springform pan or deep-dish pie pan.
  4. Put the cooked, drained wheat (grano cotto) into a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stir in the milk, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the butter, and the zest of 1 lemon. Scrape in the vanilla seeds and drop them in the pot.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the grains are very soft and the liquid forms a thick, creamy sauce, about 45 minutes. Stir more frequently toward the end to prevent scorching, and add a bit more milk if the mixture becomes dry. Transfer the wheat mixture to a shallow bowl and let it cool. Remove and discard the vanilla pod.
  6. While the wheat cooks, roll the pastry dough. Leaving the smaller disk in the refrigerator, roll the larger disk between two sheets of parchment paper into a 13-inch round. Remove the paper from one side and invert the dough over the prepared pan, nestling it evenly into the bottom and sides. Refrigerate the covered pastry in the pan. Roll the second disk into a 10 ½-inch round on a sheet of parchment paper.
  7. Use a fluted cutter to cut the dough into ¾-inch-wide strips, making at least 10 strips. Slide the dough on the parchment paper onto a rimless baking sheet and refrigerate.
  8. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C) with a rack in the center of the oven.
  9. To make the filling, in a clean bowl using clean beaters, beat the 3 egg whites with an electric mixer at high speed until firm peaks form that are not dry.
  10. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta with the remaining 1½ cups of granulated sugar at medium-low speed until smooth. Mix in the 5 yolks, the orange flower water, the orange zest, and the zest of the remaining lemon. Use a large spatula to stir in the cooled wheat and the candied peel. Fold in the beaten egg whites in three additions. Pour batter into the prepared mold and lay the cut strips of the sucre dough across the top of the pie in a criss-cross pattern. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the middle of the cake is no longer jiggly. If the top of the edges starts to darken before the filling is baked through fully, cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue to bake until the filling is done. Remove from the oven and chill at room temperature until cool. Refrigerate overnight and serve cold. Enjoy with an espresso.

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