Pastiera di Riso: the delicious recipe for Italian Easter rice pie

Total time: 5H30
Difficulty: Medium
Serves: 8 people
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By Cookist

The pastiera di riso is a sweet Italian Easter rice pie people enjoy around Easter holidays. This dessert is a delicious, easier variant of the classic pastiera napoletana as it is prepared with a rice-based filling instead of a wheat one. It is a typical Campania dessert perfect for any occasion, not only on the Easter table, but also as a snack or breakfast.

The shortcrust pastry base contains a creamy filling based on ricotta cheese, rice, sugar, eggs, milk, and flavored with orange flower and lemon. The shortcrust pastry must be thick enough to support the weight of the filling. The result is a soft and fragrant dessert that it's best to serve after a few hours, or better still the next day, so that the flavors blend together and the texture becomes tender and melting.

Enjoy this Italian Easter rice pie together with Italian Easter bread and pizza rustica.

Tips for making the Italian Easter Rice Pie

When making the pastiera di riso, it's best to use Ribe or Arborio rice as it will give a better texture to the filling. Make sure to fold the rice slowly in the filling.

Use a metal springform pan for this recipe.

If you want to get a completely gluten-free variant, you can replace the all-purpose flour with rice flour or with a gluten-free cake mix.

You can enrich the Italian Easter rice pie with chocolate chips.

You can replace the lemon zest and orange flower water with vanilla powder.

How to store Pastiera di Riso

You can store the Italian pastiera di riso at room temperature for 2 days, then transfer it to the refrigerator for another couple of days.

You can also freeze it both raw and cooked for up to 3 months.

for the shortcrust pastry
All-purpose flour
500 g
Granulated sugar
200 g
butter, softened
200 g
Medium eggs
lemon, grated zest
Baking powder
a pinch
Fine salt
a pinch
for the filling
Whole Milk
600 ml
Ricotta cheese
500 g
Granulated sugar
250 g
ribe rice
160 g
lemon, zest
orange flower water
1 tbsp
1 tsp

How to make the Italian Easter Rice Pie

First prepare the rice cream. Put the rice in a saucepan and pour in the milk.

Add the vanilla powder and a walnut of butter, then cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, about 30 minutes over low heat.

The result should be creamy and very soft. Let the rice cream cool, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, prepare the shortcrust pastry. Place the flour in a heap and add the eggs in the center.

Also combine the granulated sugar, the lemon zest and the soft butter into small pieces.

Top with a pinch of fine salt and a pinch of baking powder, then start mixing the dough with your hands.

Form a smooth and homogeneous dough ball, wrap it with cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Prepare the ricotta cheese cream; in a bowl, mash the ricotta cheese with a fork together with the granulated sugar.

Add the grated lemon zest.

Also incorporate the eggs and the orange flower water, mixing everything with a spatula.

You will need to get a smooth, homogeneous and fairly liquid cream.

At this point, add the cold rice cream.

Mix everything to amalgamate the ingredients and keep aside.

Take the shortcrust pastry and roll it out on the floured surface.

Wrap the dough, about 1 centimeter thick, around the floured rolling pin.

Line the 22 centimeters pan by removing excess dough from the edges.

Pour the filling inside the shortcrust pastry shell, leveling it well.

Use the remaining shortcrust pastry to form strips that will cross over the surface of the rice pie to form a grid.

Bake the Italian Easter rice pie at 170°C/340°F for about an hour and a half.

Remove the Italian Easter rice pie and let it cool for at least an hour before taking it out of the mold. Then transfer it to a serving dish.

When the Italian Easter rice pie is cold and compact, sprinkle it with a little powdered sugar.

Let the Italian Easter rice pie cool for about 6 hours, then serve and enjoy!

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