easter grain pie
The flavors and texture of this dish are very Italian. A hint of lemon and vanilla are all that accent the comforting blend of rice,
milk, eggs and sugar in the pie. It’s very nice as is, but if your idea of rice pudding means nutmeg and raisins, we think they’re
a great addition. If the ricotta in the filling has you dreaming of cannoli, there’s no reason a bit of candied orange zest and
chopped pistachios wouldn’t be perfectly nice in the filling. Given the ingredients, there’s an argument for having a slice for
breakfast, as well.—S.R.
1 cup ( 5 ounces, about 6 full sheets)
graham cracker crumbs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, optional
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) unsalted
3 cups ( 12 ounces) whole milk
1/3 cup ( 2 1/3 ounces) Arborio, long
grain, or converted rice
4 large eggs
1 cup ( 7 ounces) sugar
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon rind*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
*Or substitute 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon Fiori di
Sicilia flavoring, to taste
Have on hand a 9" deep-dish pie pan that’s at least 1 1/2" deep ( 2" deep is a little more
FOR THE BASE: Whisk the spices into the cracker crumbs, if using. Stir in the melted
butter until the mixture is evenly moistened, then press into the pie pan and up the
sides. The mixture will be fairly dry; that’s how it should be.
FOR THE FILLING: Simmer the milk and rice slowly until thickened, and the rice has
absorbed all the milk. Remove the pan from the heat and cool to room temperature. In a
large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy, then beat in the sugar until the mixture thickens.
Stir in the ricotta, lemon and vanilla (or Fiori). Fold in the cooked rice.
Pour the rice filling into the crust. Bake the pie in a preheated 350°F oven for about 55
minutes, until it’s set in the center. Remove it from the oven, cool, and serve with sliced
strawberries or raspberries, if desired. Yield: 1 pie, 12 servings.
Nutrition information per serving (122g): 262 calories, 9g protein, 34g carbohydrates, 11g fat, 1g fiber, 6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat,
87mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 22g sugars, 0mg vitamin C, 1mg iron, 150mg calcium. Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 7 points.