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Easter Ricotta Pie

Several years ago, Nick Norci and I were visiting in Greci during Easter.  As we were visiting homes of our family and firends almost everywhere we went we were offered a kind of sweet cheese cake/pie. 

The night before we left for the airport in Rome we were meeting with family who had gathered at our cousin Asunta Boscia's home.  I asked if someone could write down the recipe for the pie we were served. 

There was a lot of conversation between the women gathered in Assunta's kitchen/living room.  Recipes are not written down...everyone just cooks.

I did some formatting here to make it easier to follow. There are two parts to this recipe - The Pastry and the Filling.

        The Pastry

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 egg
  • 4 to 5 teaspons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspone salt
  • 3 tablespons of cold water
  • 1/2 cup of butter (not cold)

    In bowl, mix flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter a little at a time and mix until crumbly. Add egg and water and mix only long enough to mix and form into a ball. Put in a lightly greased bowl. Rotate until the ball is coated with oil. Cover and put in refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

    The Filling

  • 4 large eggs not cold - Separate the white from the yolk
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ricotta
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 4 tablespoon of lemon or orange peel (Zest)
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartat

    Add egg yolks, ricotta, sugar, lemon or orange peel, lemon extract and    mix.   Beat egg whites until stiff and filled with air.  Add cream of tartar and salt while beating

Preheat oven to 350 - 375 degrees

Get pastry from refrigeraton.  Press pastery into the bottom and sides of the pan.  Save some pastery to cut into thin strips to use for top of pie.

Take the ricotta mixture and gently mix it into the fluffy egg whites.  Spoon this mixture into the pan with the pastry on bottom and sides. Then use the thin strips of pasters to criss cross on top of the pie.

Bake until the ricotta mixture is set and the strips on paster on the top turn light brown.

Serve when cool.  You can sprinkle fine sugar on top.