This is a recipe handed down from my Sicilian grandmother. Each family has their own way of baking the Easter Pie in the Old Country, and with our family and friends it was discussed at length, believe me! This pie is made the week before Easter and offered to guests for at least a week around Easter (it will keep that long). Traditionally, it is left in the pan which it is baked in and is served from the pan. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

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  • Place raisins in a small saucepan and cover with boiling water. Cook over low heat or 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

  • To Make Dough: In a medium bowl or in a food processor, combine flour and 1/3 cup superfine sugar. Cut in butter or pulse in processor until mixture looks like cornmeal. Mix in 1 egg yolk. Stir in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Wrap with plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

  • In a medium saucepan, combine cooked rice, milk, orange zest and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is creamy and thick. Remove from heat. Whisk 3 egg yolks with 1/3 cup sugar in a large bowl. Gradually add hot rice mixture, about a cup at a time, whisking constantly. Stir in ricotta cheese, cooked raisins and cinnamon. Add vanilla and orange flower water. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Roll out 3/4 of the pastry dough into an 11-inch circle and line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Roll out remaining dough into a 10-inch circle and cut into lattice strips.

  • In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter to lighten it, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain.

  • Pour filling into dough-lined pan. Criss-cross the lattice strips over the filling. Seal the lattice strips to the bottom pastry edge.

  • Bake in preheated oven for an hour, or until pastry is golden brown. Cool at room temperature for about 4 hours, then keep refrigerated.

Nutrition Facts

444.2 calories; protein 9.8g 20% DV; carbohydrates 67.3g 22% DV; fat 15g 23% DV; cholesterol 134mg 45% DV; sodium 133.8mg 5% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (10)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/24/2003
This is an excellent recipe. Very similar to the pies my Italian grandmother made. Read More
(12)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
04/21/2019
I really wanted to love this pie but there was too much rice and it was not very creamy at all. Read More
11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
08/24/2003
This is an excellent recipe. Very similar to the pies my Italian grandmother made. Read More
(12)
Rating: 4 stars
04/28/2008
This was a lovely subtle pie really nice. I had a few issues with the pastry though it seemed to be sticky and crumbly at the same time. I don't know whether that's the recipe or the chef though because I don't tend to use a method like that for pastry so I could just be inexperienced. It was as someone else said quite a complicated pie to put together and it took me quite a while but I think it was worth it although unless anyone gives me any tips I'll just use my usual pastry for the crust. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
04/16/2006
This is a Excellent recipe It came out perfect and very outstanding Delicacy. This deserves 5 STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read More
(7)
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Rating: 4 stars
03/25/2009
The taste was great, however, there was too much rice and it was way too dense and a bit dry. I would liked to be a little bit more of the creamy base so next time I will reduce the amount of rice. I will make this again. Read More
(6)
Rating: 4 stars
11/27/2014
This is a good, nice, but not a rich pie. Delicious on its own, but the taste is not very festive. I agree with other reviewers that the dough is very difficult to work with. 2 cups flour is too much, I added 1 3/4 cups and it was plenty. The dough is crumbly and it is imposible to cut it. I put it into baking springform and pressed with my fingers. It is the only one way that I could do with it. I didn't have enough dough to make the lattice strips. So I ended up making crumble topping. The recipe makes too much filling, so be sure to make large edges. The filling is a little runny but it sets quickly in the oven. I think the pie has too much rice, 3/4 cup would be enough. Read More
(4)
Rating: 4 stars
04/01/2015
I thought this was wonderful. It's very floral, which some family members found off-putting. If you're unsure about the orange blossom water, you might try reducing the amount by half; it's pretty powerful stuff. I might bump up the zest, too. Next time, I would blind-bake the crust and maybe omit the lattice crust—or bake the pie partway, until the surface firms up, and try to add the lattice mid-bake? When I set the dough strips on the filling, they started to sink down into it, and the filling's so wet, they didn't bake all the way through. The filling started browning before the crust was set, so I covered the top with foil for the last part of baking. Worth experimenting with this one, though. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 4 stars
04/03/2015
Lucky enough to have a taste when a co-worker made it. It's tender creamy delicate; love the flavor of the aromatic orange flower water and orange zest. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
12/30/2019
Full disclosure: I am not Italian, but I loved this dessert. I made it and everyone loved it. I had a little difficulty finding the orange flower water, and finally just ordered it online. But I think it is those little touches that take recipes like this into a whole new realm. Authentic, made from scratch, (of course), and divinely delicious, it is one I will make again and again. Thank you for sharing this old world recipe. Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
04/21/2019
I really wanted to love this pie but there was too much rice and it was not very creamy at all. Read More