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Ricotta Tart with Orange Blossom and Wheat Berries

Anthony & Elaina Scotto's Orange-Blossom Ricotta Tart
Anthony & Elaina Scotto's Orange-Blossom Ricotta TartNathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
1 hr
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

We love this traditional Neapolitan-style Easter dessert because it's the perfect marriage between cheesecake and rice pudding.

Technique tip: Make sure wheat berries are thoroughly cooked so the finished product has a tender texture.

Swap option: Substitute pearl barley for wheat berries.

Special equipment: 10-inch spring form pan.


  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more
  • 10 ounces raw wheat berries, rinsed
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 lemon, finely zested
  • 1 orange, finely zested
  • cups sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 12 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
  • cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
  • ounces candied fruit, finely chopped
  • 1 package store-bought 10-inch-wide pastry sheets
  • 1/4 cup egg wash
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting



Place the cooked wheat berries in a saucepan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons butter, milk, vanillabean, cinnamon stick, orange and lemon zest and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally until it becomes very thick and creamy like oatmeal, about 1 hour. Set aside and let cool until needed.


In a large bowl, beat the whole eggs, egg yolks, ricotta, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and orange blossom water until creamy. Cover and let mixture rest for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.


Fold together cooked wheat berry cream and ricotta mixture with the candied citron.


Preheat oven to 325°F.


Grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter and place one pastry sheet in the pan and cut off any overhang. Using a pastry crimper wheel, cut another pastry sheet into long strips about 3/4-inch wide.


Fill the pastry base with ricotta mixture and even out the borders of the pastry to the level of the mixture. Place the long pastry strips gently across the top to form a criss-cross diamond pattern, pressing the strips on the edge of the pastry very gently then brush lattice gently with egg wash.


Bake for 1 hour until the pastry is golden and tart is amber-brown on top, then lower the oven to 200°F and bake for another 40 minutes.


Allow to cool completely inside springform pan. Remove to a serving plate, dust with powdered sugar and serve.