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This Italian ricotta pie, also called sweet Italian Easter pie, is a traditional Italian dessert that’s rich, creamy, and full of sweet citrus and warm spices. This sweet ricotta pie with a lattice crust is the perfect finale to any holiday meal.

A slice of Sweet Italian ricotta pie on a wooden table.

Italian ricotta pie is a sweet Christmas or Easter pie that’s rich, sweet, and features incredible flavors with citrus, almond, and vanilla.

Are you in the mood for other delicious pies? Try my amaretto cream pie with almond crust or this classic and tangy sweet key lime pie.

A slice of Italian Easter pie on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Authentic: This amazing pie is found all over Italy during the festive holidays such as Easter and Christmas. Bring some Italian flair into your house by making this ricotta pie recipe.
  • A real treat: There are dessert recipes for any occasion but this one makes a real treat whenever you want to celebrate a special occasion in style.
  • Harmonious flavors: You will love every bite of this tasty ricotta pie. The flavors work together to produce the most delicious-tasting dessert you ever tried.
An Italian ricotta pie in a white dish with a lattice pattern.

Easter Ricotta Pie Recipe Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Frozen pie crusts: You’ll need these to make the base of the pie. You can use deep dish crusts, either homemade or store-bought. An authentic Italian ricotta pie recipe will use sweet pie dough (sweet crust) or pasta frolla which has a sweet cookie-like crust.
Ricotta: This is the key ingredient as it makes the pie rich, creamy and delicious. Make sure you use whole milk ricotta for the best results.
Liquor: I used orange-flavored liquor (Cointreau) but you could also use Amaretto or another kind of flavored liquor or omit this if you prefer.
Spices: Cinnamon gives the pie a warm, cozy flavor and the almond extract adds a lovely depth of flavor.
Orange zest: Adds a lovely fresh flavor. Be sure to only zest the outer, colored part of the orange peel, not the bitter white pith underneath.

The ingredients for a best ricotta pie are laid out on a wooden table.

How to Make Italian Ricotta Pie

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Prepare the crust and the egg wash: Put the pre-made pie crust in a pie plate. Crack three eggs into a small bowl. Separate the other three eggs and add the yolks to the eggs in the bowl and keep the egg whites separate. Put the yolk and white mixture in the refrigerator. This will be an egg wash for the baked pie pan.
Add the other ingredients: Next, mix the ricotta with the sour cream, egg whites, Cointreau and vanilla. Mix in the cinnamon, sugar and orange.
Add the pie filling and cook: Pour this ricotta mixture into the pie crust, cover the top of the pie with foil and bake for an hour.
Prepare the topping: Whisk the almond extract and heavy cream with the egg yolk and white mixture. Now unroll the prepared Pillsbury dough and cut it into strips using a pizza cutting wheel or a sharp knife. Brush the egg mixture over the strips then sprinkle over some cinnamon sugar.

A bowl of whipped cream and eggs on a wooden table, perfect for making Italian Easter pie or Sweet Italian ricotta pie.

This is the best Italian ricotta pie recipe and worth the effort!

A slice of Italian ricotta pie on a plate next to a glass of milk.
Taking a slice of homemade ricotta pie.

Substitutions and Variations

Different liqueur: If you’re not a fan of Cointreau, feel free to use a different orange liqueur of your choice or even try a different flavored liquor altogether.
Different citrus: Instead of orange zest and Cointreau, you can use lemon zest and lemon juice for a refreshing twist.
Optional add-ins: For a bit of added texture and flavor, consider adding some mini chocolate chips to the filling.

An Italian ricotta pie with a slice taken out of it.
A slice of Italian Easter pie, also known as the best ricotta pie, on a plate with a fork.

Serving Suggestions

Traditional Italian Easter Spread: Sweet ricotta pie is a traditional Italian Easter treat that is perfect for serving on Easter Sunday. Another similar option is pizza giana rustica, which is a savory pie perfect for the occasion.
Side Dishes: To complement the rich and creamy filling of the Italian cheese pie, consider serving it with a dollop of whipped cream or a handful of mixed fresh berries.
Condiments: If you like, you can add a drizzle of your favorite gluten-free sauce or spread on top to add an extra layer of flavor.

A slice of Sweet Italian Ricotta pie on a plate.

How to Store Sweet Christmas or Easter Pie

Store: Keep leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container and enjoy within three days.
Freeze: You can freeze this sweet Italian ricotta pie for up to three months. Make sure to store it in a freeze-safe container or bag.

A close up of the *best* pumpkin pie with a lattice pattern.

Top Tips 

Thaw Your Pie Crust: Before using your frozen pie crust, let it thaw for about 10 minutes. This will make it easier to handle and shape to fit your pie pan.
Separate Your Eggs Carefully: When separating your eggs, make sure to place the egg whites in the filling bowl and the yolks in the egg wash bowl. This will give your pie a rich, golden color and a fluffy filling.
Whisk Thoroughly: When making the filling, whisk well until smooth. This will ensure that all the ingredients are evenly combined, giving your pie a consistent and delicious flavor.
Use a Foil Tent: Cover your pie with foil or the foil pan the crust came in before baking. This will prevent the crust from burning and help the filling to cook evenly, giving your pie a perfect texture.
Be Creative with Your Pie Crust Strips: When cutting your pie crust into strips, be creative with the length, width, and pattern you use to lay the strips. You can weave them to create a beautiful design that will impress your family and friends.

A slice of Italian ricotta pie on a white plate.

Sweet Italian Ricotta Easter Pie FAQs

What’s the difference between a sweet and savory Italian Easter pie?

The sweet version, like this Italian Ricotta Pie, is often enjoyed as a dessert, while the savory version is filled with meats and cheeses and is served as part of the main meal. Both are equally popular for Easter.

Can I use a different type of pie crust for this recipe?

Absolutely! If you have a favorite gluten-free pie crust recipe, feel free to use that instead. Just make sure it’s a deep-dish crust, as this pie has a generous, creamy filling.

How can I tell when the pie is done?

The pie should be golden brown on top and the filling should be set. If the crust is browning too quickly, you can cover it with foil or a pie crust shield during the last part of the cooking process.

Can I use low-fat ricotta for this recipe?

I recommend using whole fat ricotta for the best flavor and texture. Low-fat ricotta can make the pie filling watery.

A pumpkin pie with a slice taken out of it, resembling a Sweet Italian ricotta pie.
A slice of Sweet Italian ricotta pie on a plate next to a glass of milk.

Easter Ricotta Pie Recipe

5 from 8 votes

Sweet Italian Ricotta Pie

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Sweet Italian ricotta pie is a traditional Italian dessert. It's a cheese pie with ricotta, vanilla, orange, and spices. You can use pre-made pie crust to simplify the recipe instead of pasta frolla for this easy Christmas or Easter pie. This creamy pie will be a family favourite!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 16

Ingredients 

  • 2 frozen pie crusts, deep dish
  • 6 eggs
  • 30 Ounces ricotta, whole fat
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons liquor, orange flavour, such as Cointreau
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pie crust dough, Pillsbury, refrigerated ready made
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 Teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon sugar
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons granulated sugar

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Place prepared pie crust into a pie pan. **TIP: Most frozen pie crusts will come in a foil pan. Let the pie crust thaw for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove it from the foil pan using a fork or toothpick. Place the pie crust directly into your 9” pie pan. Later, The foil pan can be used as a tent while the pie cooks in the oven. This will help to prevent the crust from burning while also trapping heat/steam inside giving the filling a perfect even cook and delicious texture**
  • Set out 2 small mixing bowls. One bowl will be used for the eggs in the filling, and the other will be used for the egg wash. In the filling bowl, crack 3 eggs. Next, carefully separate the remaining 3 eggs so the egg whites go into the filling bowl, and the yolks into the egg wash bowl. Whisk each bowl well, then place the egg wash bowl into the refrigerator until step 6.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, sour cream, eggs, vanilla extract, and cointreau. Whisk well until smooth. Next, add the cinnamon, orange zest, and sugar. Whisk thoroughly for 2 minutes.
  • Pour the filling into each pie crust. Cover with foil **or the foil pan the crust came in** and place onto the center rack of the oven. Bake for 1 hour.
  • Remove the egg wash from the refrigerator. Add heavy cream and almond extract to the bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Unroll prepared pie crust. Use a pizza cutter to cut the crust into small strips. Brush each strip with the egg wash mixture, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  • Remove pie from the oven and discard foil covering. Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • Be creative with the length, width, and pattern you use to lay the strips. I chose to make a cross pattern of 3 horizontal and 3 vertical strips, woven where they meet in the center. You can also weave the pie strips to cover the entire pie, create a starburst pattern, or whatever comes to mind. ** Note: at this point the filling will not be cooked through and will still have a pudding like consistency, but the filling should be thick enough that the thin strips of pie crusts lay across the top without sinking**
  • Place the pie back into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the pie to sit in the oven for 5 to 10 more minutes.
  • Let the pie cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 365IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Sweet Italian ricotta pie is a traditional Italian dessert. It’s a wonderful Christmas or Easter pie choice, and using a pre-made pie crust instead of homemade sweet pie crust makes the recipe even easier. My Italian family loves this creamy pie with ricotta cheese filling and lattice top. If you are looking for recipes for Italian desserts, make sure you check out this favorite family recipe.

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Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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