Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ricotta Pie

I've been a busy little bee in the kitchen today, but I wanted to take a moment to share with you all a holiday recipe that is special to me - Ricotta Pie, a dessert my family makes for Easter.  

Ricotta pie is one of those treats that every Italian grandmother probably has her own recipe for (I'm sure you can find many variations on the internet) but this one comes from my dad's mother, Yaya Vittles.  

Traditionally, ricotta pie is made with either lemon or orange zest - if you don't care for citrus feel free to leave it out for a 'vanilla' flavor.   (See my notes at the bottom of the recipe).

I happen to like it both ways :)

Happy Easter!!

Ricotta Pie
  • 2 C. part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ½ C. sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. orange zest (see note below)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 C. heavy cream
  • 1 unbaked 9” pie shell (you can use store-bought or your favorite recipe)
  • cinnamon, to taste

Prepare pie shell in 9” pie pan, and preheat oven 350 degrees.  Place ricotta in the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat 2 minutes on medium-high until fluffy.  Add sugar, vanilla, and orange zest, and beat an additional 30 seconds at same speed. 

Reduce speed to low, and while mixer is running add eggs one at a time – beat gently until incorporated, scraping down sides as necessary.  Add heavy cream and beat on medium until incorporated well.

Pour filling into prepared pie shell and sprinkle top with cinnamon to taste.  Bake pie 45-55 minutes on middle rack or until filling is mostly set but the very center still jiggles a bit when you gently shake the pan.  (Do not pick up pie, just wiggle gently on rack.)  It's important that you watch the pie carefully around 45 minutes- you don't want the pie to be underbaked, but if it cooks too much it will start to poof up and the surface will crack everywhere. 

Turn off oven and prop open door slightly (use a wooden spoon if door won’t do this on its own).  Leave pie in oven for another 30 minutes, then remove and cool completely on wire rack.
Serve at room temperature or cold.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  Makes one 9-inch pie.

Note: Traditional ricotta pie is made with orange or lemon zest.  If you don’t want the pie to have a citrus taste, simply leave it out.  My grandmother sometimes sprinkles chocolate chips over the top of the pie before putting it in the oven (they sink to the bottom during baking) but this is a matter of preference.

Family Recipe


  1. I've never heard of ricotta pie. I imagine the texture to be kind of like the ricotta cheese layer in lasagna- am I off on that one? Anyways, it looks very good!

  2. Hi Culinarication, it's more of a custard... like an airy, grainy cheesecake. (Ha, I don't know if that makes it more or less appetizing to you?) I'm sure it seems odd if you've not heard of it, but Italians like using ricotta in desserts :)

  3. I grew up in an Italian household but never had the pleasure of trying ricotta pie. Growing up I didn't care for ricotta cheese but now I do. I'd love to give this a try sometime. It looks delicious.

  4. just made something similar and used the ricotta con latte which worked amazing! it tastes like a cannoli pie in my opinion and we make our own sweet crust with it as well....soo good!! Happy Easter!!

  5. Wow, this looks just reminds me of our dinners in Italy :)

  6. This dessert is new to me. I bet it tastes wonderful though. Reminds me of Italy

  7. looks so fluffy and yummy! i like your grammy's idea of sprinkling chocolate chips!

  8. Haha, actually it does sound appealing! Especially after reading the comment about cannolis... one of my favorite desserts!

  9. I absolutely love ricotta pie. Its always nice to have a recipe that is passed down through the family :) This looks delicious.

  10. This looks rich and delicious! I love the orange in it!

  11. That looks so moist & fluffy... I think I would love it with the citrus flavors! :) Thank you so much for sharing! :)

  12. I've seen a couple of variations and really like yours. Appreciate you sharing your family recipe.

  13. Im glad you shared this because I just saw a recipe for ricotta pie the other day and was wondering what it was like. This looks and sounds like I have to try it soon!

  14. That looks yummy with the layer developed on the bottom. I never tasted a ricotta pie but it does look a lot like cheesecake!

  15. Hmm that must taste delicious! I love ricotta cheese.

  16. Hi I love Ricotta Pie, can you tell me the temperature for the oven, thanks, 'cause I want to try to make it, seems like a great recipe thanks again

  17. We also have that tradition in our family at Easter. Our family recipe is very similar to yours. My nana's and mom have passed, but my sister and I keep the tradition going. I make mine in small pot pie tin sizes and hand most of them out to friends and family. I made 54 of them this year. We also make Easter meat pies...sort of a meatball mixture wrapped in pie crust and baked...also a very big hit with friends and family. Happy baking!

  18. Do you think I'd be able to substitute orange flavoring for the vanilla and orange zest? (sorry if this posted more than once, I'm having issues with posting, I guess.)

    1. It only came up once, you're good! So the orange extract would probably work but I think you will get better flavor with the orange zest and pure vanilla extract. Good luck!

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