June 19, 2013
Written by Joy Paoletti and Judy Vig
Tuesday, 23 March 2010 08:31
Finally the beautiful weather makes an appearance, the clocks are set ahead and the days are getting longer.
Just one glimpse of the purple crocuses peeking through the ground can set off an hour of conversation between us about what flowers we will be planting, what colors we should choose, and the yearly banter about who plants the parsley and who plants the basil. Heaven forbid we both plant parsley.
We finally get around to the most important question of the day: Who’s turn is it to have Easter this year? Since we are all together on this lovely day, we make a pot of coffee and decide to sit around the table with our husbands, which is a mistake, and discuss these very important questions.
What are we going to make? Who is going to make Nana’s pies? And color the eggs? And fill the plastic ones? Should we make lamb or ham, or both? Should we grill it? Who is bringing who? Girlfriends, boyfriends ... How many are we? Do we have enough chairs? Where are they?
We realize we should stop obsessing and just relax, when our brother-in-law Uncle Jimmy gets up from the table, shaking his head, saying over and over, “My sisters-in-law are crazy. They are driving me nuts. What’s wrong with them?”
We finally decide we will have grilled lamb and a ham, along with all the traditional sides mom and Nana always would make. We will share the duties of making the Easter pies for dessert. Jackie will make the rice pie, and Judy will make the wheat pie. Joy will make the show-stopper, the Italian ricotta pie.
Joy thinks she is the only one in the family who can make this pie just like Nana. She uses a special cookie crust for it and makes little coiled-shaped cookies with the leftover dough. They are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, with a little hint of vanilla. Yum-yum!
Enjoy this 90-year-old traditional Italian recipe; we know it will become part of your Easter table, too.
Ingredients for Cookie Crust:
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
3 tsp. baking powder
4 cups flour
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix baking powder and
flour together and add to creamed mixture along with the milk. Mix and chill
one hour. Cut in half, or use as much as you need for the pie crust and save
the rest for cookies. Rolling between two sheets of wax paper is neat and
quick, no need to flour anything! Place in a sprayed pie dish.
1 1/2 pounds of whole milk ricotta cheese (use good quality-name brand)
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (for decorating)
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Combine the ricotta and flour in a small bowl. In
a medium size bowl, beat the eggs well. Add the sugar and vanilla gradually
and continue beating until smooth. Now add the ricotta mixture and beat will
again. Pour into prepared pie crust. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon over
the top of pie and swirl with a sharp knife to make a design. Bake for
approximately 45 minutes. Enjoy!
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