Holidays | Rice and Grains

Farro and Ricotta Pie

In some neighborhoods this is called grain pie. We are using pasta frolla made with butter for the crust. Some people use lard and bake it in a 10” springform. The dough is crumbly and tender, easy to make and foolproof to work with. If you tear it, just pinch the edges together. This pie is traditionally served at Easter. It is loaded with symbols of renewal, the grains of wheat, eggs and fresh ricotta. Orange and cinnamon are traditional flavors. Sometimes people use orange flower water, some add candied orange peel. We use orange zest.


  • Pasta Frolla Shortbread Crust
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick / 4 ounces colds butter, unsalted, cut into cubes
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • Farro & Ricotta Filling
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 1 ½ pounds ricotta
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • zest of 1 orange, grated
  • confectioners’ sugar


Time: 3 Hours
Yield: 2-10 inch Pies

Make the Pasta Frolla Shortbread Pie Crust

  • Put all the dry ingredients into the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a few times to
  • combine. Add the butter. Use quick pulses to cut it into the flour. It should
  • resemble fine cornmeal. Add the eggs and process until the dough balls up on the
  • blade. Remove the dough and knead it on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
  • Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  • Rinse the farro then soak in a bowl of cold water overnight
  • Combine the milk and water in a heavy bottom saucepan and bring to a boil. Add a
  • pinch of salt. Add the drained farro and stir until the liquid returns to a boil. Lower
  • the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the
  • wheat, put it in a bowl, and stir in the butter. Let it cool for ½ an hour.
  • Beat the eggs until frothy, then beat in the sugar. Stir in the ricotta, vanilla,
  • cinnamon, and citrus zest. Add the farro and mix well.
  • Preheat the oven to 375º F.
  • Bring the pasta frolla dough to room temperature and roll it out. Line two 9-inch pie plates
  • with the pastry. Cut the remainder into lattice strips.
  • Put half of the filling in each pie shell. Criss-cross the lattice strips on the top and
  • crimp the edge.
  • Bake 45 minutes until golden. Cool on a rack then refrigerates overnight.
  • Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.
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