Friday, April 2, 2010

Food/Easter Pie

At my Uncle Pal's 90th birthday party last week, conversation drifted to the recipes of our Aunt Susie, the most extraordinary baker in the family. Each of us has a few fragments of her repertoire, and a story I had heard many years ago was repeated that afternoon. Susie "left out" ingredients when she passed on a recipe, the family insists, because nobody has been able to replicate her amazing culinary feats. In addition to the missing item, Susie's recipes often don't contain measurements, just a list of ingredients. She was a magician, unwilling to reveal her secrets.

Somehow, many years ago, I managed to extract from her the recipe for what we called the "sweet pie" at Easter, complete with amounts. It seems to work, so if something is missing, I haven't detected it. I'll be baking it tomorrow for our Easter dinner. The recipe that follows is reduced by half from Susie's original.


(Susie made a pastry crust, but I tried this cookie crumb crust one year and have continued to use it.)

1 ½ cup fine crumbs from either macaroon cookies or anisette toast cookies

6 Tablespoons butter


1 lb. ricotta cheese

½ cup sugar

4 eggs

½ cup heavy cream

Zest of one lemon, grated

Zest of one orange, grated

½ cup orange juice

1 tsp. vanilla

Melt the butter and blend with the cookie crumbs. Spread mixture over sides and bottom of a 9- or 10-inch pie plate. Bake for 15 minutes at 300 degrees. Cool.

Beat the eggs.

Combine all filling ingredients and stir until smooth.

Pour filling into pie shell.

Bake for 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees until filling is firm.

Squeeze lemon juice over top of the pie after baking and sprinkle with sugar.

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