Italian rice pie

Italian rice pie

This rice pie with lemon is a traditional Italian pie that is served at Easter in the Naples region of Italy. If you like rice pudding and you like lemon, you've gotta try this pie!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword italian dessert, lemon, rice pie
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 14
Calories 359kcal
Author Marie


For the crust

  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes or slices, not melted
  • 2 large eggs large
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon from 1 small lemon
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the filling

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese firm (drain over cheesecloth if too wet)
  • 2 eggs large
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp grated lemon from 1 medium lemon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


To make the pie crust

  • In a large bowl, add the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, and cubed butter. Using your hands, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse sand
  • In another bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and then pour into the dry sandlike mixture and stir until all of the egg has been incorporated
  • Press down and form into a dough and then turn out onto counter and knead a few times until there are no dry bits remaining. Form into 2 flat disk shapes, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour (this makes enough for 2 pies, so you can opt to use the extra to decorate the top, or save for another pie)
  • Butter and flour an 8-inch pan. After the dough has chilled, roll it into a circle that is about 12 inches wide and then carefully transfer it over to the prepared pan and line it with the dough. If the dough falls apart you can simply pinch it back together in the pan. Use plenty of flour on both sides of the dough when you are rolling out the dough to prevent sticking

To prepare the filling

  • Begin by adding the rice, milk, and lemon peel to a gentle boil over medium low heat. You MUST stir often or the mixture will definitely stick to the bottom of the pan!!
  • After the rice has begun to slightly bubble, reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until most of the milk has absorbed (it's okay if rice is a bit undercooked as it will keep cooking in the oven). Set aside to cool
  • In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, sugar, eggs, grated lemon, and vanilla extract and beat until creamy (I mixed by hand using a whisk)
  • Once the rice mixture is cooled, add it to the ricotta mixture and stir to combine.

To bake the pie

  • prick the pie dough several times all over the bottom with a fork
  • Pour filling into the pie shell 
  • Bake at 350 degrees F on the center rack until the filling is set (about 50 to 60 minutes)


Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 136mg | Potassium: 159mg | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1.5mg