Sweet Sicilian Easter pie

    8 hours 30 min

    A traditional sweet pie served around Easter in Sicily. A buttery pastry encases a creamy ricotta, rice and raisin filing. This pie keeps pretty well, serve it out of the tin for easy storage.

    7 people made this

    Makes: 1 23cm deep pie

    • 115g unsalted butter
    • 5 tablespoons caster sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 250g plain flour
    • 190g uncooked white rice
    • 475ml water
    • 4 tablespoons raisins
    • 325ml milk
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
    • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
    • 250g ricotta cheese
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 5 tablespoons caster sugar
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons orange flower water
    • 4 egg whites

    Prep:2hr30min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Extra time:5hr cooling  ›  Ready in:8hr30min 

    1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. In a saucepan, bring 475ml water to the boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
    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.
    3. To Make Dough: In a medium bowl, cream butter and 5 tablespoons sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg yolk. Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball. Wrap with plastic and let rest in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
    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. Mix in ricotta cheese, 3 egg yolks, 5 tablespoons sugar, cooked raisins and cinnamon. Stir in vanilla and orange flower water.
    5. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain.
    6. Roll out 3/4 of the pastry dough into an 28cm diameter circle and line the bottom and sides of a 23cm round springform tin. Pour filling into dough. Roll out remaining 1/4 of the dough into a 25cm circle and cut into lattice strips. Criss-cross the strips over the filling. Seal the lattice strips to the bottom pastry.
    7. Bake in preheated oven for an hour or until pastry is golden brown. Cool at room temperature for about 5 hours.

    Orange flower water

    If unavailable at your local supermarket, you can purchase it online.

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    Reviews in English (8)


    This is an excellent recipe. Very similar to the pies my Italian grandmother made.  -  15 May 2003  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This was a lovely subtle pie, really nice. I had a few issues with the pastry though, it seemed to be sticky and crumbly at the same time. I don't know whether that's the recipe or the chef, though, because I don't tend to use a method like that for pastry, so I could just be inexperienced. It was, as someone else said, quite a complicated pie to put together, and it took me quite a while, but I think it was worth it, although unless anyone gives me any tips I'll just use my usual pastry for the crust.  -  24 Apr 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This is a Excellent recipe, It came out perfect and very outstanding Delicacy. This deserves 5 STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  -  16 Apr 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)