My grandmother, Letizia, or Lily, made several rice pies every Easter—two or three with citron and at least one without (some of my dad’s brothers and sisters didn’t like citron so they picked it out of the pie). Lily didn’t have a refrigerator when my dad was a kid, so she stored the rice pies in the closet and covered them with blankets. Even after she got a refrigerator, she made so much for Easter that the rice pies were still stored in the closet. We make at least one rice pie every Easter.
Lily’s Rice Pie
- 1 pound all-purpose flour plus extra
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup shortening
- 5 eggs
- baking spray
- 1 pound rice
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 5 eggs
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- pinch of salt
- ½ gallon milk
- ½ pound citron
- In a large saucepot, add rice, milk, and salt. Bring the rice to a boil at medium heat. Let boil for about one minute, then cover and reduce heat to low. If necessary, add additional milk until rice is fully cooked, about 15-20 minutes. Remove cooked rice from heat, add shortening, sugar, cinnamon, and citron, and stir until ingredients are combined. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then stir in eggs, one at a time. Adjust sugar and cinnamon as needed. Set filling aside and make the pie crust.
- Mound flour on a large cutting board. Make a well in the flour, and add eggs, sugar, and shortening, and work with your hands, folding in flour a little at a time, until ingredients are well-blended and a soft dough forms.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured cutting board or pastry sheet. Knead the dough about 10-15 times, or until the dough forms a ball without falling apart. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it's large enough to fit into a 10x13-inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray sides and bottom of dish with baking spray. Roll dough on pin, place over baking dish, and position in place. Add filling.
- Trim excess dough. Reshape remaining dough into a ball and roll out. Cut into long ½-inch wide strips, and place on top of pie. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into middle of pie comes out clean. Store in refrigerator.
Increase or decrease sugar and cinnamon as desired.