Sunday, March 31, 2013

Italian Grain Pie

I've only made this once before but my daughter brought her boy friend home for the weekend and I thought I'd do it as a tribute to a holiday we don't actually celebrate.  It takes forever to do but it's worth the time and effort.  It has a very unusual flavor, is dense and rich and definitely not for those who don't do gluten.  I'm going to post the pics first and the recipe after.

whole grains, soaking in water. this is kamut and a little brown rice

grain cooked, drained and cooling

 rubbing sweet butter into the flour for the rich crust

the crust has the yolks of three eggs, from local hens

crust divided into halves, ready to chill

lattice top on and ready for the oven

out of the oven and cooling

ready to serve, garnished with fresh violets

2 C plain flour
1/2 C sugar
pinch of salt
3 yolks
3 T cream
1 T cold water
stick of sweet butter, softened

Sift all the dry ingredients together, rub the butter in, add the yolks, then the liquid. Form two balls of dough, allow them to chill.

Let 3/4 of a pound of whole grains soak in fresh water for about half an hour.  I use kamut wheat, but this time I was 2 ounces short and added in the rice. Cook it in enough water to cover it for about an hour, until soft. Drain it. Put 1/2 whole milk in the same pot. Add 1 T sugar and bring to a boil. Put the cooked grain back in, stir it up and cook for 3 mins. Let the grain cool to room temperature.

Roll out one of the balls of crust and put it into a buttered pie pan.  Preheat oven to 350.

Combine the following:
1 1/2 pounds of ricotta cheese
1 C heavy cream
1 1/2 C sugar
6 yolks

Add to cooked grains.

Combine the following:
1 t grated orange peel
1 T cinnamon
1 T orange juice
1 T candied citron

Add to cooked grain mixture.

Beat 4 egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold them into the grain mixture. Pour into crust. Use the second ball of crust and make a nice lattice on top. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let the pie set for 1/2 hour in the warmth.

There was enough filling and crust to do a second pie, without the lattice top. I haven't worked out the amounts for a single pie, so plan to give one to a friend.  A very good friend.

Serve it warm, with softly whipped fresh cream.

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