Leticia Farrice adapted a recipe from the Natick Sons of Italy cookbook (published in 2005) for her Easter ricotta pie. She recommends mixing the filling ingredients by hand (not using an electric mixer) to reduce the amount of air whipped in. The resulting baked custard has a rich, creamy, dense texture.
|Pinch of salt|
|9||tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces|
|3||to 4 tablespoons ice water|
|Flour (for rolling)|
1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and cut it into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or 2 blunt knives until the mixture looks and feels like coarse meal. Using a fork, stir in 3 tablespoons of ice water, adding another tablespoon as needed, until the dough starts to comes together. Using your hands, gather the dough into a ball. Press into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 to 60 minutes or until slightly firm.
2. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a 10-inch glass pie pan.
3. Place a sheet of wax paper on a work surface and sprinkle it lightly with flour. Roll out the dough on the paper, sprinkling it with a little flour if it sticks to the rolling pin, into a 12-inch circle. Holding the dough and wax paper with two hands, flip the dough onto the pie pan and center it over the pan. Carefully peel off the wax paper. Gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, up to the rim.
4. Cover the dough with a sheet of parchment paper and fill the covered pastry with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the dough looks mostly dry. Remove the paper and beans and let the crust sit for 15 minutes or until no longer hot.
|2||pounds whole milk ricotta, drained of excess liquid|
|1||tablespoon vanilla extract|
|Grated rind of 1 lemon|
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, using a whisk or wooden spoon, stir the ricotta until smooth. Stir in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and lemon rind, if using.
3. Pour the filling into the crust. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until the custard is lightly golden and set. (It shouldn’t be wobbly.) Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
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