Nona Italia's Easter Cake
Nona Italia (real name is believed to be Maria) bakes an enormous amount of this gorgeous cake every Easter and gives it out to family members and friends. Although we are not in that circle, we are fortunate enough to be friends with her granddaughter Jodie, who is still to come and give her expert opinion on this cake made with her Nona's recipe (slightly modified).
500g over cooked pudding rice (left to set over night)
120gr caster sugar
blossom water to taste, I put 2 spoons, you can easily pour 1/2 bottle
1 orange, zest and juice
pinch of grated nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
11 egg yolks
200g mixed peel
250g plain flour
4 egg yolks + 1 egg
Rub butter into flour, add eggs, one at the time and stop if the dough is wet enough ( depends on size, you may not need to use them all) Wrap in a cling film and refrigerate until ready to use, may leave it overnight.
Cook the rice, you should need about 250g of raw rice, as it usually double in size, depends on rice, maybe even less as for this recipe you will need it over cooked, until the grains almost disperser. When cooked put in a colander and let it set overnight.
The next day, mix the rice with one half of the sugar, and ricotta with the other. Preheat the oven to 230 C, gas mark 8. Combine rice and ricotta mixture, then add the egg yolks, blossom water, nutmeg, orange peel and cinnamon. Grease 25 cm - 10" tin with butter, roll 2/3 of the pastry and cover the bottom and the side and pour the filling. Use the remaining pastry to roll and cut 10 thin strips, criss cross them over the filling ( five strips horizontally, five vertically).
Bake on high temperature for 10 minutes, then reduse to 180C/gas mark 5 for about 1 hour, or until cake appears golden and firm to the touch.
Serve as small slices when cold.