Friday, March 12, 2010

Pizza Grana

Pizza Grana

Makes one 10-inch pie

Prepare the wheat:
  • 1 cup soft wheat berries, rinsed and drained
  • Soak the wheat berries in 3 1/2 cups of water in a pot with the lid on, overnight on the counter.
  • The next day, bring the wheat berries and the soaking water to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Let sit for about 45 minutes, then drain.
  • Scald 2 cups of milk and add the wheat berries.
  1. 1/3 cup sugar
  2. 1 cinnamon stick
  3. 6 cloves
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 3 slices orange rind
  6. 3 slices lemon rind
  7. Let simmer for about 1 hour, until the berries are tooth tender.
  8. Cool, drain off milk and remove spices and rind.

(Wheat berries are cooked in milk and sugar for the pie)

For the pasta frolla (sweet dough):
  1. 2 1/2 cups flour
  2. 1/3 cup shortening (I used Earth Balance)
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 2 egg yolks (save the whites for the filling)
  6. 3 tablespoons milk
  7. Dash of cinnamon
  • Cut the shortening into the flour with the salt and cinnamon; pulse in the bowl of a food processor.
  • Add the egg yolks; pulse again; then add the milk.
  • If the dough is not coming together at this point, add a tablespoon of cold water at a time with the processor running until the dough comes together in a ball.
  • Gather it together and put it in a plastic bag; pop it in the fridge to rest for at least 1/2 hour.
For the filling:
  1. 1 1/2 pounds of homemade ricotta (this is the best; Adams or your favorite Italian deli will have it)
  2. 2 cups sugar
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  4. Grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  5. 4 egg yolks (save the four whites and add them to the two from the crust recipe)
  6. Dash of cinnamon
  7. 1/2 cup dried fruit (good citron is preferred, but I did not have any so I used a combination of dried papaya and cranberries, which was delicious)
  • Divide the dough in half.
  • Roll out one ball and place in the bottom of a greased 10-inch pie plate.
  • Roll out the other half and cut into 1-inch strips to use for the lattice top.
Prepare the filling:
  • Whip the six egg whites until stiff peaks form in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Remove and place in another bowl for later use.
  • In the same mixer bowl (no need to wash it) add the ricotta and sugar and blend.
  • Beat in the four egg yolks, vanilla, cinnamon and lemon and orange zests.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and fold in the dried fruit and egg whites.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

(The pie will rise up in the oven, thanks to all those eggs)

  • Scrap the filling into the uncooked pie shell.
  • Finish with the lattice top.
  • Cover the crust edges with foil or those cool crust covers so it does not cook too quickly.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for about 50-55 minutes until the pie rises nicely and is golden brown. (Remove the crust covers after about 1/2 hour of cooking.)

Let the pie cool on a rack before dusting with confectioner's sugar.


Barbara said...

Thanks, Maryann — you're sweet.
I used to get the citron at Toscani's in New Paltz, but I did not have the time, nor energy, this year to get over there to look for it.
I have to say the papaya worked really well as a substitute.
Hope you had a nice Easter - I'm still full! ;-)

Michele said...

This was quite an endeavor, but turned out beautifully!

Barbara said...

It really was a chore, but fun, Michele, thanks! I bet you whipped up some goodies as well - I'll head over to your blog for a peek. :)

Aparna said...

This really is a beautiful pie. Never knew wheat berries were cooked into a pie.

You must have had a wonderful Easter.

Barbara said...

It was very nice, Aparna, thanks.
I think the wheat is symbolic for spring and renewal. It really is quite good. I'll save you a piece!

Claudia said...

We jealously guard our Pizza grane every year - it is truly just an Easter treat and is savored. The wheat berries are getting harder to find.

Barbara said...

Yes, it is a once-a-year treat, Claudia. Thankfully, wheat berries are readily available at health food stores here in the Hudson Valley.
I've also used bulgur as a substitute for them as well. :-)

Proud Italian Cook said...

Wow Barbara, your pie is beautiful!You can see this pie is made with love!

Barbara said...

Thank you, Marie. That is one ingredient that makes everything better! :-)

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