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Perreca's Bakery Ricotta Pie

April 06, 2019 11:51 AM

Easter is an important holiday to many -- it symbolizes a time of rebirth and renewal which we can see, smell and feel all around us here in the springtime of Upstate New York.  And for those of Italian decent (including their friends, neighbors, co-workers), Easter is a time of traditional foods such as pizzagaina (a ham pie eaten for breakfast or lunch); lamb dishes; and ricotta pie for dessert.

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At Perreca's Bakery in Schenectady, Ricotta Pie is a staple during the Easter season and here is our recipe:

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Pie Filling:  Yields two 9" deep dish pies

1.5 lbs. ricotta cheese or impastata ricotta (a denser form of the same cheese used by commercial bakeries and pizzerias)

5 eggs

3/4 c sugar

1 tbs. real vanilla extract

zest of 1/2 lemon

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

a few drops of orange oil (or natural orange extract)

pinch of nutmeg

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  1. Beat eggs very well and slowly add sugar a little at a time.  Keep mixing until egg/sugar mixture becomes thick and almost frothy.  Add the remaining ingredients, blending well.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  3. Add the ricotta mixture to a 9" deep dish pie crust -- either use your favorite recipe, use crumpled gram crackers or a commercial gram cracker crust, or a store-bought traditional pie crust.  NOTE: when using anything but a gram cracker crust, pre-bake a traditional pie crust 1/2 way done before adding your ricotta mixture (the moistness of the ricotta mixture inhibits the bottom of the pie crust from fully baking if you begin with a completely raw crust).
  4. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 - 50 minutes.  Note that some ovens run hotter than others - this pie needs to cook slowly at a fairly low temp.  If the top of your pie begins to brown, tent the top with aluminum foil being careful not to touch the delicate top of your pie.
  5. Your pie will slightly deflate and firm up as it cools.

This is a wonderful choice for a clean, light dessert that’s not too sweet…or even breakfast!

menu note:  For rice pie simply add 3 cups cooked rice to the ricotta pie recipe, blending in at the end just enough to incorporate the rice evenly.  

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Ham Pie:

(12) Eggs

2 cups diced ham

1 cup diced prosciutto 

1 lb. diced basket cheese

1 cup diced mozzarella 

3 Tbs. grated parmesan

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground pepper

1 pinch dried oregano

2 partially baked 9” deep dish pie crust (either purchased or homemade).

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  1. Whisk eggs in a large bowl and incorporate all other ingredients and transfer to partially baked prepared pie crust.
  2. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until firm.  Use aluminum foil to “tent” the pie to prevent top from becoming unseeingly brown.  

This pie is traditionally served cold in Italian households, but can be heated and served as a breakfast on Easter morning, or served as a meal accompanied by a salad.

Credits

Muneib Chater

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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