Ricotta Pie has been a staple of our Easter dinner for as long as I can remember. It’s basically, an Italian cheesecake…because ricotta is cheese and because pie is basically a cake that’s reached a higher level of existence.
Truthfully, it’s not something I ate while I was growing up. I’m not sure why maybe it’s due to the orange zest or maybe because it wasn’t a super sweet dessert and I was a kid and kids don’t always have a refined palette.
Plus, my grandparents made really good cookies.
This was cheating a bit, but Mama G made this recipe for us. We were heading up for the holiday weekend and Mama G was cooking up a storm and was making several dishes for the next day.
I know this is really late but since Easter is all about waiting it’s still very much in the spirit of the holiday.
Hope you enjoy!
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick cold butter cubed
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 2-3 tbsp of cold milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 lb of drained ricotta
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
First, you’ll want to get your ricotta in a bowl and whip it together with the sugar. You’ll be doing a lot of whipping so don’t feel like you need to get the ricotta smooth at this point.
Add your eggs and continue to mix until the cheese is smooth.
The recipe says that you should add each egg individually…but we hadn’t checked it until after we started cracking.
Now, for a flavoring in three parts…
From left to right you’ll add your orange zest, cinnamon, and chocolate. You can mix the zest and cinnamon with the hand mixer but use a spoon for the chocolate, you’ll want bigger chunks for baking.
Roll out your dough and fold over the pie pan. You should roll the dough about at least 2-inches wider than the pan.
When you cut away the excess dough, make sure to keep it because you’ll need it for lattice.
DID SOMEONE SAY LATTICE???
I had to google how to spell this. But now it’s the only word I ever want to say.
You’ll need about 8-10 strips about a half inch wide to cover the pie…so be exact…or don’t.
We’re nearly there gang, just a few more step. Fill the pie and top with the LATTICE!
Before baking cover the top completely in rainbow sprinkles. I don’t know why, it’s just how it’s always been. Maybe it has something to do with the colors we see normally in easter…or maybe it’s because chocolate sprinkles weren’t on hand.
Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees checking periodically to see if it’s cooked through. You can do this by stabbing it in the center with a knife or ice pink (not sure why my mom has one of those). If it comes out clean, then it’s done.
Also, the pies will really jiggle if they aren’t cooked. It’s very funny.
In the end, you’ll have a fully baked, golden brown, pie of which a cheesecake could only hope to aspire to.
But really, it’s a special thing. This pie was always on the table next to a plate of cookies and the lamb cake with the jelly bean eyes. I know that Easter is a very specific holiday and that it might not be something that everyone celebrates.
For me, the holiday has always been about the family gathering and the food we’d eat. This pie will always remind me of my family…even if I never really ate it as a kid.
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