Italian Rice Pie or Torta di Riso is a traditional Easter dessert, it’s a sweet pie and there are many versions of it, each family has their own. Mine is filled with creamy ricotta and mascarpone cheese, flavors of vanilla and orange, cooked arborio rice and rum soaked raisins. The dough is traditionally made with a pasta frolla but I’ve seen it made with just about everything, a typical shortcrust pie dough, either homemade or storebought, puff pastry and even made without a crust. I prefer phyllo dough for mine because I love the crispy crunchy texture it brings to the pie plus it goes so well with the creamy inside, and did I mention, it’s easy!
The only thing that needs to be made ahead of time is the rice, I cooked it the day before and refrigerated it and the raisins need ample time to soak in some warmed up rum, you want them nice and plump!
The food processor makes the filling nice and smooth, then all you have to do is stir in the rice and raisins.
I love how free form phyllo is, and it’s so forgiving, no matter how it looks before you bake it, it always comes out beautiful!
Now she looks even prettier!
- 2 cups of well drained dense fresh ricotta cheese
- ⅓ cup mascarpone cheese
- ¾ cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 5 eggs
- 1½ cups of cooked arborio rice
- ½ to ¾ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup of rum liquor
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1½ tablespoons orange zest
- 6 or 7 sheets of phyllo
- ½ stick of melted unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Cook the rice the day before or early in the day by placing 1 cup of dry arborio into 4 cups of milk, cook until tender with a little bite, then drain off all the leftover milk, cool down and refrigerate.
- Place golden raisins in a small bowl, pour rum on top, heat in microwave until warm not boiling then take out and let them sit for about an hour, then strain off extra rum.
- In food processor blend together the powdered sugar, ricotta, mascarpone, eggs, vanilla and zest until smooth, pour into a bowl and stir in the rice and raisins. ( you'll have some rice leftover).
- With the melted butter lightly brush a 10 inch x 1½ deep pie dish.
- Start layering your phyllo sheets over the bottom and up the sides leaving an over hang all around. Each phyllo layer needs to be brushed with the melted butter.
- When layering is complete pour the filling mixture into the pie dish on top of phyllo.
- Fold up the sides that hung over, you don't have to completely cover the top, it looks nice if you can peek through.
- Bake 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
- Dust with powdered sugar when it comes to room temperature.
- For leftover pie, refrigerate, but then bring it to room temp when you want to eat it again for optimal flavor.