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Ingredients

Filling
300g (10 oz) farro (or grancotto)
1 tbsp pork dripping (or butter)
Pinch of salt
1 litre (35 fl oz) milk
10g (2⁄3 oz) ground cinnamon
1 vanilla stick
Zest of 1 lemon, finely sliced
500g (16 oz) ricotta cheese
Zest of 1 orange, finely sliced
250g (8 oz) candied fruit
125ml (4 fl oz) orange blossom water
100ml (3. fl oz) Strega liqueur
6 eggs, separated
6 tbsp sugar
Icing sugar, for dusting

Pastry
500g (1 lb) flour
200g (6. oz) sugar
Pinch of salt
300g (10 oz) butter, cut into small cubes
1 egg
1 x baking dish, 25 cm diameter x 5 cm deep (10 x 2 inches)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Put the farro into a large saucepan, cover with 2 litres (72 fl oz) of cold water. Add the pork dripping and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 3 hours. Strain and put it back into the saucepan. Add the milk, cinnamon, vanilla and lemon zest. Cook for another 2 hours until the farro resembles porridge. If it starts to dry out, add more milk. Set aside to cool.

If using granocotto, skip the initial 3 hours of cooking. Put the grains in the saucepan with the milk and flavourings and cook for 2 hours as described above. For the pastry, mix together the flour, sugar and salt, then rub in the butter. Beat the egg with a fork and knead it with the flour. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Sprinkle some flour on a benchtop and on a rolling pin, and roll out the dough to about 5mm. Cut out a large circle of pastry wide enough to line the base and sides of the baking dish. Cut off the excess pastry, gather it into a ball and set it aside in the fridge for decorating the pie later.

Sieve the ricotta into a large bowl. Add the 'porridge’, orange zest, candied fruit, Strega and orange flower water. Mix well. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until smooth and creamy, then add to the ricotta mixture. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff with a whisk or an egg beater. Gently fold into the ricotta mixture.

Pour the filling into the pastry case. Cut the remaining pastry into strips about 1cm wide. Lay the strips across the pie in a lattice pattern. Where they meet at the edges, press the pastry case and lattice strips together. Bake, in the preheated oven, for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To serve, dust with icing sugar. It is good with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.