Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ricotta-Barley Pie

After seeing 'wheat pie' mentioned on Cake Boss, the Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf wanted to give it a try. I read a few different recipes and came up with this. We didn't have whole wheat berries, so I subbed in barley. The verdict: it's a little dry. But I'm not calling it a flop because the flavors were great! We'll try again.

For the Pâte Brisée
This should make enough for the top and bottom of a 10" tart.


  • 2-1/2 C all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 C finely ground almond flour
  • 1/2 C organic powdered sugar
  • 1 C butter, very cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 5 T freshly squeezed orange juice

I don't have a food processor, so I use a pastry blender and do it all by hand. Or the kitchen elves do it! 

Place the flour, ground almonds, powdered sugar, and cold butter in a large bowl. Use the pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add orange juice in 1 T at a time, until mixture just begins to clump together. If you squeeze some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready. If the dough doesn't hold together, add a little water and cut again. 

Note: too much water will make the crust tough. Once the dough comes together into a ball, divide your dough (into 2/3 and 1/3) and wrap tightly each ball tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

While the crust chills, make the filling...

For the Ricotta Filling


  • 2 C whole milk ricotta
  • 2 C cooked barley
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 C organic brown sugar
  • zest from 2 oranges
  • 1/4 C marzipan cubes
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • dash of ground cardamom

Whisk all of the ingredients - except the barley and marzipan - together in a large mixing bowl. When everything is well-blended, fold in the barley and marzipan. Set aside.

To Assemble
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out the Pâte Brisée between two pieces of parchment paper. The larger ball (2/3 of the original dough) is the bottom layer.

Lay the Pâte Brisée rounds in your tart pan. With your fingertips, press the dough into the mold, so that the dough lays flat against the bottom of the pan and goes completely up the sides.

Spoon the ricotta mixture into the pan. It should reach the top of the pan.

Roll out and lay the second pastry dough over the top of the pan. Press around the top edge of the pan with your fingers to seal the pastry. 

Bake at 375 F for 40 to 45 minutes. The top should be golden brown and the crust crisp. Cool completely. Enjoy at room temperature.

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