Friday, June 29, 2012

Tour of Italy ~ Day 29... Fruitful Friulli - Veneziz Giulia

Friulli is renowned for its white wines, prosciutto, and its warm hospitality. The "friulian hearth" is still an essential element in the homes and restaurants in this region. A place for families and guests to gather, stories to be shared and food is still prepared over these open fires. Many stews and soups along with grilled meats and warm cheeses can be found here, but one favorite dessert stands out among all the rest...

Ricotta Pie 

Ingredients for filling

  • 1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  •  2 egg yokes
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel 
    • Ingredients for crust

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening or unsalted butter
  •  2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Directions

    1. Beat the eggs,  sugar and vanilla or lemon peel together. Stir in the ricotta cheese and the raisins. Set aside.
    2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease two deep dish pie plates.
    3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 cup of the sugar together. Cut in the shortening and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in eggs and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Divide dough into 4 balls and chill (if needed)
    4. Roll out 2 of the balls to fit into the pie pans. Do not make the crust too thick as it will expand during cooking and get too thick. Do not flute the edges of the dough. Roll out the other 2 balls of dough and cut each into 8 narrow strips for the top of the crust. Alternately you can use cookie cutters and place the cutouts on the top of the pies. I do not put the crust on top. I use the other two balls of dough for another dessert and add meringue.
    5. Pour the filling evenly into the pie crusts. Top each pie with 8 narrow strips of dough or cookie cut-outs. Brush top of pie with milk for shine. Place foil on the edge of crust.
    6. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 20 to 30 minutes then remove foil. Continue to bake for another 25 or 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

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