Sicilian Easter Pie Recipe
- ½ cup butter, chilled
- ⅓ cup superfine sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons ice water, or as needed
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 ⅓ cups milk
- 1 ½ tablespoons grated orange zest
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 3 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons orange flower water
- 4 egg whites
step 1: 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.
step 2: 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.
step 3: 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.
step 4: 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.
step 5: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
step 6: 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.
step 7: 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.
step 8: Pour filling into dough-lined pan. Criss-cross the lattice strips over the filling. Seal the lattice strips to the bottom pastry edge.
step 9: Bake in preheated oven for an hour, or until pastry is golden brown. Cool at room temperature for about 4 hours, then keep refrigerated.