|Annette with her mother and sister|
Whereas Annette and Ang both remember wonderful feasts from their Italian families, including amazing Italian rice pies. I begged for the recipe and share it here.
This is Annette's family version, though the maraschino cherries are from Ang's side of the family. Annette warned me that one of her aunts would leave out an ingredient or two when she gave out her recipes. No one has ever figured out how to make her most special frosting--it will go to the grave when she does.
But I made this recipe for Easter dinner, and it came out beautifully...
Annette Pompano's Italian Rice Pie, with Cherries from Ang
Makes two 8” pies
1 cup uncooked white rice (not brown, not par-boiled)
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
1 lb. ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
Peel of one orange, zested
1/2 6 oz bottle maraschino cherries (chopped)
Soak rice in water (enough to cover) for ½ hour. Drain rice (this water is not part of the above)Simmer rice with milk and water until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool for 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. (You will think you have too much liquid, but the rice will absorb this as it cools.
(This is a good time to make the crust. See below.)
Mix cooled rice, ricotta, sugar, and cream in a large bowl. Set aside.
Blend eggs and orange zest in a blender or food processor until pieces of peel are very small. Add to the rice mixture. Stir well.
Fold in chopped maraschino cherries (don’t mix in earlier or the pie will be pink.)
Pour into two 9” crusts (see sweet crust recipe). Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. If the crust gets too brown, cover edges with foil for the last 15 minutes.
Italian Sweet Crust
¾ cup shortening (butter is fine--chilled)
½ cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ tsp. baking power
2 ½ cups flour
(I did this a little differently than Annette does, but ingredients arethe same.) Place sugar, salt, baking powder and flour in a food processor and pulse to combine. Cut the butter into chunks, add it to the bowl, and pulse until pieces are pebbly. (Do not over mix or crust will be tough.)Beat the eggs and vanilla together and mix this in. Divide the dough into two pieces and knead briefly into disks. Wrap them in waxed paper and refrigerate until the filling is ready.
In this photo, the rice pie without cherries is on the left, with a piece of killer coconut cake on the right. Oh my gosh, it was heaven. (I've got to track down that recipe too...)
When Annette isn't cooking, she is often found painting. Here's one of her favorites. You can find her on Facebook.
And please like Lucy's page while you're there!
And don't forget to pre-order TOPPED CHEF, coming May 7!