Lions’ Plate: Sweet Italian Easter Pie

By Shannon Deady
Columnist

No family holiday celebration is complete without Pastiera di Riso, or the Easter Pie, as my family likes to call it. Although it is traditionally on our dessert table, my family makes so much of this dish that we even eat it for breakfast or brunch in the days following Easter. With sweet but hearty ingredients such as cheese, eggs and rice, pastiera di riso really can be eaten at any time of the day. The crust, or pasta frolla, for this particular pie is the sweetest part about it. Pasta Frolla is Italian for short pastry and can be used as the base for quiches, tarts and pies alike.

This sweet pastry can be eaten at any meal (Facebook).

Makes: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:

Crust Pasta Frolla:

-2 cups flour

-1 cup sugar

-Pinch of salt

-1/2 cup room temperature butter

-2 eggs

Filling:

-1 1/2 cups Carolina rice

-3 cups water (for rice)

-3 eggs

-1 tsp vanilla

-3 cups ricotta

-1/2 cup butter

-About 1 cup sugar to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the crust, begin by combining dry ingredients before slowly adding in soft butter and eggs, and mix until dough forms. Shape into a ball and refrigerate for at least an hour and no longer than two days before using.
  3. To make the filling, first follow instructions for rice, placing both rice and water in a medium sized saucepan and bringing to a boil before reducing the heat to low. Cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is sticky.
  4. Remove rice from heat and add butter, sugar, ricotta and vanilla mixing until combined. Once the mixture is room temperature, add the eggs and mix again until fully combined.
  5. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it flat on a cutting board with flour to prevent sticking. Transfer to one large pie tin or two small once properly rolled.
  6. Add filling to the pie tin and place in oven for one hour.
  7. Take out, let cool and enjoy.  

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