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Easter Pie (Mary's Rice Pie)



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La Belle Cuisine


Easter Pie (Mary’s Rice Pie)

 Classic Home Desserts:
a Treasury of Heirloom
and Contemporary Recipes
from Around the World
(winner of both a James Beard Award
and a Julia Child Award!)

by Richard Sax, 1994, Chapters Publishing, Ltd.
2000 Houghton Mifflin Company


“ ‘Every Easter, my mother would get started early,’ says Mary Codola, my
adopted Italian mother, as we sit (eating, of course) in her Rhode Island
kitchen. ’I make this only once a year, at Easter,’ Mary says…
"This is one of the best recipes in this book. When I brought a few pieces
of this wonderfully creamy pie to the kitchen where I used to cook as a
volunteer, it was devoured instantly, and I had half a dozen requests –
which became demands – for the recipe. Baked in a rectangular pan,
it is sturdy and travels well… This recipe can be halved and baked
in an 8-inch square pan.”

Makes one 13-x-9-inch pie; serves about 12

1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
Pastry Dough (recipe follows)
5 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
1 pound (about 2 cups) ricotta cheese,
drained in a cheesecloth-lined sieve or
colander for a few hours or overnight
1 1/2 cups sugar, or less to taste
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, for sprinkling

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, place the
rice in a large sieve and rinse under cold water; drain. Gently boil
the rice for 15 minutes; drain well.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F., with a rack in the
center. Butter a 13-x-9-inch baking dish. Roll out the dough on a
lightly floured surface to a large rectangle about 1/8 inch thick.
Gently fit the dough into the baking dish, without stretching; cut
the edges even with the top of the dish. Carefully line the dough
with a sheet of buttered foil, buttered side down. Bake until the
sides are set, usually about 8 minutes. Carefully remove the foil.
Continue baking, pricking any air bubbles with a fork, until the
dough begins to turn very pale gold, usually another 6 to 8
minutes. Cool on a wire rack; leave the oven on.
3. Combine the drained rice with 4 cups of the milk and the salt;
simmer until tender, usually about 20 minutes.
4. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 1 cup milk. Add
the ricotta, sugar, cream, and vanilla. Stir in the rice and milk
mixture and mix well. Pour into the pie shell and sprinkle the
cinnamon on top.
5. Bake until the filling is firm and set, about 50 minutes.
6. Cool the pie on a wire rack to room temperature. Serve at cool
room temperature. To store, cover and refrigerate but let come
to room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.

Pastry Dough

3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter,
cut into pieces
3 large eggs, well beaten

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter
by hand, until finely crumbled. Add the beaten eggs and stir until well
combined. Gather the dough together, kneading gently, until it pulls to-
gether into a mass; divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Wrap separately
in plastic and chill until firm.

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