Pastiera (Easter rice pie)

About this dish

  • Serves: 2
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Method: oven

At Easter, my family makes a rice pie, that’s a kind of a mixture of cheesecake and rice pudding. This recipe is my mother’s, from my maternal grandmother, Nonni C.


For the filling

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 2 t rum (blends with the vanilla for a nice taste that doesn’t have an overpowering flavor – *light* rum works best)
  • 1 lb. ricotta (not ‘lite’ – this is not a lite dish)
  • 3 C cooked rice (just according to directions, NOT instant rice, not brown, not ‘chinese’, not risotto rice. Plain rice.)
  • chopped citron approx 1/2 cup (chop very finely!) you can substitute candied lemon peel

For the crust: – note: this part doesn’t quite work right yet!)

  • 2 C flour (more as needed)
  • 1/4 C oil (corn, safflower, etc – light tasting)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 2 C sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • jimmies (sprinkles) (pastel colors – it’s for Easter!!)


  • springform pan (10″)


Preheat oven to 325 F.

The crust is combined and rolled just like a pie crust. Our tradition is to cut it with a wavy-slicer, and make a lattice on the top, aligned with the pan edges.

The filling is just mixed well.

Line the pan, and toast the lining (just like you’d do for a pie). Fill, then top with a lattice of crust (don’t cover it completely). Add some sprinkles (I put lots, of course), AFTER it’s all assembled.

This makes one 10″ springform pan, 3″ deep – it should be 2-2.5″ thick.

Bake at 325 for 1 hour, until crust is golden and liquid has ‘set’. If watery after 1 hour, turn the heat OFF and leave in the oven for up to 30-45 min to set. It’s a custard – it has to set, but it WILL NOT BE DRY.

Let cool **completely** before slicing.