Rice Pie (Torta di Riso) is a traditional Italian dessert served at Easter. When I was growing up, every Italian household had Rice Pie during Easter week and it is still widely enjoyed today. You might be surprised to know that the recipe contains no flour at all and most of the ingredients are naturally gluten free!
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I jazzed up the plain rice pie we had as kids with toasted hazelnuts, candied orange peel and chocolate chips. Instead of a pie dish, I opted for this mini fluted tart pan to create 6 individual servings. Perfect for small Easter gatherings!
- 2 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 1/2 cup Carnaroli Rice (Risotto Rice – see notes)
- ½ cup sugar
- ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. hazelnut extract, divided
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
- ¼ cup candied orange peel, minced
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- optional Frangelico liqueur for brushing (adult bunnies only!)
- powdered sugar and cocoa powder for dusting
Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes at 325°.
Line the tart pan with paper baking cups and mist with cooking spray.
Add milk to a saucepan and heat to a simmer. Add the rice and stir. Next stir in the sugar, vanilla and ½ tsp. hazelnut extract.
Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered on low for 45 minutes.
Hint! Do not walk away while the rice is cooking! You will need to stir frequently and watch that it doesn’t burn or boil over!
Remove the cooked rice from the stove, transfer to a bowl and let it cool slightly before combining the rice with the egg mixture (you do not want to cook the eggs).
Whisk the eggs and ricotta in a large bowl. Add the remaining ½ tsp. of hazelnut extract.
Fold in the toasted hazelnuts, candied orange peel and chocolate chips.
Gradually add the rice to the egg mixture, one scoop at a time to temper the eggs. Stir well after each addition of rice until it is completely incorporated.
Divide the mixture evenly among the 6 cups, each should be about 2/3 full (they will rise to the top during baking).
Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes. Check with a toothpick and touch the center with your finger (it should feel set, no liquid). Remove from the oven, and while still warm, brush the tops lightly with Frangelico (optional, if serving to adults).
Cool completely in the pan.
Serve the tartlets at room temperature or chilled. Before serving, dust with cocoa powder and powdered sugar.
This showstopper of a dessert is bound to become one of your Easter favorites! I know it will at our house!
Notes ♪♫ Carnaroli Rice is widely regarded as the best for making risotto and it is worth seeking out if you can’t find it at the grocery store. It is a high-quality short grain rice with a wonderful texture that is perfect for making risotto that is creamy but firm. If you cannot find Carnaroli rice locally, it is available here on Amazon or substitute Arborio rice.