Finally the beautiful weather makes an appearance, the clocks are set ahead and the days are getting longer.
Just one glimpse of the purple crocus peeking through the ground can set off an hour of conversation between us about what flowers we will be planting, what colors we should choose, and the yearly banter about who plants the parsley and who plants the basil. Heaven forbid if we both plant the parsley!
We finally get around to the most important question of the day, “Who’s turn is it to have Easter this year? Since we are all together on this lovely day, we make a pot of coffee and decide to sit around the table with the husbands, which is a mistake, and discuss these very important questions. ‘What are we going to make? Who is going to make Nanas pies? and color the eggs? and fill the the plastic ones? Should we make lamb or ham or both? Should we grill it? Who is bringing who? girlfriends, boyfriends…….How many are we? Do we have enough chairs? Where are they? We realize we should stop obsessing and just relax when our brother-in-law, Uncle Jimmy, gets up from the table shaking his head saying over and over, my sister in laws are crazy, they are driving me nuts, what wrong with them????
We finally decide we will have grilled lamb and a ham, along with all the traditional sides Mom and Nana always make. We will share the duties of making the Easter pies for dessert. Jackie will make the rice pie, Judy will make the wheat and Joy will make the show stopper, the Italian ricotta pie! Joy is the only one in the family who can make it just like Nana, (she is the only one who thinks this) using a special cookie crust for this pie and making little coiled shaped cookies with the left over dough. They are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with a little hint of vanilla! Yum! Enjoy this 90 year old traditional Italian recipe, we know it will become a part of your Easter table too!
Nana’s Italian Ricotta Pie
- Nana’s cookie crust (recipe below)
- 1 1/2 pounds of ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (decorating)
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Combine the ricotta and flour in a small bowl. In a medium size bowl beat the eggs well.
Add the sugar and vanilla gradually and continue beating until smooth. Now add the ricotta mixture and beat will again. Pour into prepared pie crust.
Sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon over the top of pie and swirl with a sharp knife to make a design. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Enjoy!
Nana’s Cookie Crust
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 4 cups flour
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix baking powder and flour together and add to creamed mixture along with the milk. Mix and chill 1 hour.
Cut in half or use as much as u need for the pie crust and save the rest for cookies. Rolling between 2 sheets of wax paper is neat and quick, no need to flour anything! Place in Nana’s Cookie Crust. Enjoy!