A lemon flavoured Italian Rice and Ricotta Pie, encased in a flaky phyllo dough crust. It’s elegant, beyond delicious and makes for one great make ahead dessert!
Although pies such as this rice and ricotta confection is traditionally served during the Easter holiday, I believe something this good should be made all year round.
Its centre is soft and creamy. A cross between a rice pudding and a lemon custard combined to form an elegant pie.
Italian rice and ricotta pies are customarily made with a pasta frolla crust. Such as this Pastiera Napoletana Recipe made with grano cotto, which is cooked wheat. Or even this simple yet elegant Chocolate Orange Ricotta Tart made with a silky smooth filling of ricotta and mascarpone cheeses.
Usually I’ll go crustless with this rice and ricotta pie, however, I thought I’d switch it up a little by using the remaining frozen phyllo dough sitting in my freezer.
The phyllo dough is easy to work with and dresses up this Italian pie so prettily! No pastry chef degree is required here!
How to Make Italian Rice and Ricotta Pie
Making an Italian pie such as this one is really quite simple!
You’ll want to start by cooking the rice with the water and milk till it’s creamy. Then, as the rice mixture cools you can prep the egg mixture and line the pie plate with buttered phyllo sheets.
The phyllo sheets are quite delicate to work with and tear easily but thats ok. Once baked the tears are not noticeable.
And besides, a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar will hide any imperfection.
While testing this pie with different amounts of layered phyllo sheets, I found that 5 or 6 phyllo sheets will give you nice ruffled pie edges while using more weighs the ruffles down.
Once the phyllo sheets are buttered and layered you’re now ready to stir the rice mixture into the egg mixture.
Make sure to stir the mixture well while removing any lumps of rice.
Then pour the rice mixture into the prepared pie plate and bake in a preheated oven for about 50 to 60 minutes, at 350 degrees F.
If your phyllo dough is darkening too much, you can easily cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil.
I didn’t cover mine, however I did rotate the pie half way through the baking time.
Make sure to allow the rice and ricotta pie to cool completely before serving.
Or better yet, once it’s cooled off, chill the pie for a couple of hours or overnight!
All it needs is a generous dusting of powdered sugar just before serving. And if you wish you can garnish the pie with some candied lemon slices.
Italian Rice and Ricotta Pie
Rice and Ricotta Filling
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups milk full fat
- 2/3 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup ricotta full fat, smooth ricotta
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- lemon zest from 1 lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Phyllo Dough Crust
- 6 frozen phyllo dough sheets thawed, according to package instructions
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- powdered sugar for dusting
- Place the water, milk and rice in a medium sized stock pot and bring to a boil.
- Once it starts to boil, lower the heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir often while taking care not to allow the rice to stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Set aside to cool while you prepare the egg mixture.
- Place the sugar, ricotta, eggs, honey, vanilla, lemon zest and salt in a medium sized bowl.
- Beat well with electric beaters till thoroughly combined.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 9 inch pie plate.
- Roll out the phyllo dough and keep covered with saran wrap OR a clean and damp kitchen cloth to keep it from drying out.
- On a clean work surface brush a sheet of phyllo dough with butter and transfer onto the pie plate while gently pressing down to line the pie plate.
- Crunch up the overhang part to make a frill. It doesn't have to be perfect.
- Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets while rotating off line from the previous layer, creating a star-like pattern.
- So you'll be brushing the phyllo dough with butter, lining the pie plate and crunching the edges 6 times.
- Once the pie plate is ready and lined with the phyllo dough, stir together the rice mixture with the egg mixture. Make sure there are no lumps in the batter.
- Pour the rice batter into the prepared pie plate.
- Set the pie plate onto a cookie sheet, place in the oven and bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes.
- The top of the pie should look set. If the centre is slightly jiggly it's ok. It will set further as it cools off.
- If your phyllo dough is browning too much you can always loosely cover it with aluminum foil.
- I didn't need to cover mine but I did however rotate my pie half way through cooking to brown evenly.
- Let the pie cool completely before serving.
- Dust with powdered sugar just before serving.