Growing up, my memories from an Italian-American Easter included butter shaped like a lamb, sweet bread studded with dried fruits (baked in a coffee can) and homemade ricotta pie. While my Nana’s version was the straightforward cheesecake type pie, I’ve always wanted to make a traditional rice pie. Called pastiera, it’s usually filled with arborio rice, ricotta, lemon or orange zest in a sweet pie crust. Apparently this is an Americanized version of the traditional Pastiera di Grano eaten on Easter in Italy, featuring wheatberries or farro instead of rice.
Since both Easter and #berrylove were coming up, I decide to make a pastiera but feature raspberries in addition to citrus. I referenced both FoodBlogga’s Traditional Italian Easter Rice Pie and Mary Ann Esposito’s Neapolitian Ricotta & Rice Pie (great tip on grating frozen butter with box grater when making crust!) for guidance. I ended up making my version a bit healthier, using less sugar, butter and eggs, using some whole wheat pastry flour and of course, adding lots and lots of fresh raspberries.