Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Italian Easter Wheat Pie

When Beez's Italian aunties, Mary and Pucci, were much younger, they served this labor-intensive pie at Easter time. I got this recipe, which is very like theirs, from Cooks.com. It makes 3 pies. 

Part 1 - Preparing the Wheat
3/4 lb. spring wheat
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
10 c. water

Place wheat and 5 cups of water in large covered bowl and refrigerate for 48 hours. Drain water from wheat and place wheat in a 2 quart covered pot with 5 cups of fresh water. Cook over medium heat until boiling then reduce heat. Let simmer at a low boil for 3 hours or until tender, stirring frequently. Add water as needed and do not let wheat stick to bottom of pot. When wheat is tender drain water out and add milk, salt, and sugar. Cook over low heat for 7- 8 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside and cool.

Part 2 - Preparing the Pie Crust
3 c. sifted white flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
4 egg yolks
1 1/3 sticks butter
6 tbsp. milk or more, if needed
1 tbsp. lemon rind

Place flour in large mixing bowl and add sugar, salt, butter, mix well with fork. Add egg yolks, milk, and lemon rind mixing well. Take mixture and place on floured board. Knead until dough is smooth and manageable. Adding more flour or milk as needed. Place dough back in bowl, cover and refrigerate.

When ready to use cut dough into 6 parts. 3 parts for bottom and 3 parts for lattice tops.

Roll dough out on floured board large enough to cover a 9 inch pie pan. For lattice top roll out 10 inch strips and cut 3/4 inch wide, 24 strips for 3 tops.

Part 3 - Preparing the Pie Filling
1 1/2 lb. ricotta, regular or part skim
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
6 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1 tbsp. lemon rind
2 tbsp. orange marmalade
Prepared Wheat mixture

Place in large bowl ricotta and sugar mixing well until creamy. Add egg yolks, orange marmalade, lemon rind, and cinnamon; mix well. Add to bowl your prepared wheat mixture and mix evenly. Place in separate bowl egg whites and sugar. Beat until stiff. Fold stiff egg whites into wheat mixture.

Fill your three pie crusts with wheat filling evenly. Cover with lattice pie crust. Criss-cross 4 pieces on bottom and 4 pieces on top. Trim off all excess pie crust.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Check by inserting knife in center. If knife comes out clean pie is done. Remove from oven and cool before serving.

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