One of my favorite ever Italian desserts is the Rice & Ricotta Pie. It consists of some of my favorite ingredients in one dish! Rice, ricotta cheese, vanilla, lemon, etc… and its actually sooo easy to make!
I’ve read several different ways to make this pie including how my mother in-law makes it. Her in-laws were Italian and she learned to make it early on in her marriage. As is with so many Italian dishes, there are many variations on how to make a dish depending on the region it’s from. Thank goodness she saved some of the recipes her mother in-law shared with her. And although I love how she makes her pie, I tweaked it just a bit to my liking.
When making this pie I decided to go with a traditional pie crust. Some recipes call for this pie to go without the crust and while I’ve made it without the crust, and was very pleased with the results, I still prefer to have a crust. If you rather not have the crust, simply eliminate that part of the recipe and layer bottom of pie pan with a piece of parchment paper cut to size for easy removal.
Italian Rice & Ricotta Pie
A classic Italian dessert usually made during the early spring season.
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup arborio rice
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 strips of orange rind (peel)
- 1 pre-made pie crust
To make filling:
- 6 eggs at room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 16 oz ricotta cheese, drained
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp orange zest
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups cooked arborio rice
- powder sugar for dusting
For the rice:
Combine milk and rice in a large saucepan (I used a rice cooker) over medium-high heat. Add salt, vanilla extract and orange peel. Stir and cover.
Once the milk begins to simmer, reduce heat to low, cover slightly and stir occasionally until the milk is absorbed; about 15-20 minutes. Stir constantly toward the end of this time to prevent the milk from scorching.The rice should be cooked but still firm as it will finish cooking in the oven. (If using a rice cooker just watch until it begins to boil and uncover, stirring occasionally. When most of milk is absorbed just turn off and let sit.)
Remove orange rinds and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350℉/175℃. Position rack to middle.
Spray a 9½ inch pie pan with non-stick spray and place one pre-made crust on dish. Set aside.
For the filling:
In a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer), with whisk attachment, beat the eggs until light and frothy. Can also use a hand held blender or whisk. Gradually whisk in the sugar. Beat for 1-2 minutes.
Add ricotta cheese, zests and cinnamon. Whisk until well incorporated.
Gently add and combine the rice mixture, breaking up any clumps of rice. Pour into pie plate over unbaked crust.
Bake for 45-60 minutes or until golden and top bounces back when lightly touched.
Allow to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.
Once your rice pie has baked and cooled down, it only needs a nice dusting of powder sugar and you’re done. The pie can be eaten on the same day at room temperature or make in advance and bring to room temperature one hour before eating. You can refrigerate for up to 3 days.This Italian dessert pie is also known as the Easter rice pie. I think its the only time my mother in-law makes it but I love it so much that I make it throughout the year.