Pastiera (Arborio Rice Pie)
Imagine crossing rice pudding with cheesecake. The end result would taste much like Pastiera! This rich and creamy bread can be used as part of the main course for a brunch or as a dessert.
*For Yogurt Cheese: Using a yogurt cheese maker or layered cheese cloth, strain the whey from 4 cups of yogurt for 3-6 hours in the refrigerator. This should yield 2 cups of yogurt cheese.
Bring 4 cups of milk to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a medium-low simmer, add Arborio rice, vanilla, cinnamon and orange zest. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Continue to cook until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.
Once absorbed, stir in 3/4 cup sugar, and allow mixture to cool. Preheat oven to at 350°. In large bowl, combine yogurt cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and eggs. Fold into this the cooled rice mixture, mixing gently to avoid breaking up the curd. Pour mixture into the bottom of a lightly buttered and floured 9-inch springform pan and bake for 60-70 minutes. Allow cake to cool overnight, and dust with confectioner's sugar before serving. Serve with a fresh raspberry or strawberry sauce.