Easter Ricotta Rice Pie with Raspberry Glaze

Easter Ricotta Rice Pie | Teaspoonofspice.com

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.

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Easter Rice Pie with Raspberry Glaze

Slice of Easter Ricotta Rice Pie with Raspberry Glaze

An Italian Easter tradition.

  • Yield: 16 slices 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
  • 34 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 2 cups lowfat milk
  • 1 cup uncooked arborio (short grain) rice
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese, drained
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange extract
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries

For the raspberry glaze:

  • 3 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from one large orange)
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Instructions

For the crust:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, orange zest and salt. Grate the chilled butter and cut into flour mix (butter should form little balls.)
  2. Slowly add in ice cold water, mixing until a dough ball forms. Wrap in saran wrap and chill in refrigerator until filling is ready.
  3. Grease a 10-inch springform pan or 10-inch round cake pan. Roll dough out onto a floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Place in pan and press up and over edges of pan. Set aside until ready to fill.

For the filling:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 cups of milk to barely a boil, add rice, stir and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 20 – 25 minutes (no need to continually stir or add liquid as you usually do when making risotto.) Cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, add cooled rice, sugar, butter, ricotta, orange zest and orange extract. Mix well. Add eggs and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. In bottom of pie crust lined pan, cover the bottom with 2 cups of raspberries. Pour ricotta rice mixture on top. Bake for 55 – 60 minutes or until ricotta rice filling is set.

For the raspberry glaze:

  1. While the pie cooks, make the glaze by adding 2 cups raspberries, orange juice and honey to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and reduces (cook for about 1/2 hour.)
  2. Remove from stove and gently mix in remaining 1 cup raspberries.
  3. When serving, pour a few spoonfuls of raspberry glaze atop each pie slice.

Slice of Easter Ricotta Rice Pie with Raspberry Glaze

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