Sweet Italian ricotta cheese pie recipes are a traditional Italian dessert. Maybe you’ve made ricotta lemon pie which is similar but not the same. This one is 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 with ricotta cheese filling and lattice top will be a family favourite!
Ricotta cheese pie is a sweet Italian Christmas or Easter pie. It’s rich, sweet and boasts an amazing flavour in every mouthful, which includes citrus, almond and vanilla. It is a traditional Italian dessert well worth making for a special occasion.
Why You’ll Love This
- 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 flavours: You will love every bite of this tasty ricotta pie. The flavours work together to produce the most delicious-tasting dessert you ever tried.
Sweet Italian Ricotta Pie Ingredients
Pre-made pie crust is the quickest way to prepare this sweet Italian ricotta pie, although by all means make your own if you prefer! You will also need Pillsbury dough. An authentic Italian ricotta pie recipe will use sweet pie dough (sweet crust) or pasta frolla which has a sweet cookie-like crust.
You will also need basic ingredients such as eggs, whole milk ricotta (or part skim ricotta), sour cream, sugar, and heavy cream. The amazing flavours in this creamy ricotta cheese pie come from the addition of vanilla, Cointreau, cinnamon, orange peel zest, almond, and cinnamon sugar.
You can use a different orange liqueur in place of the Cointreau if you prefer. Instead of orange you can use lemon zest instead and lemon juice instead of the liqueur. The lint of lemon is also wonderful! It is always ok to take an old recipe or an original recipe and change it up a bit. Some mini chocolate chips would also be amazing in a traditional ricotta pie.
How to Make Ricotta Pie Like an Italian Chef
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.
Add the pastry strips and bake: Arrange these strips on top of the baked pie then bake for about 20 minutes, before turning off the heat and letting the sweet Italian ricotta pie sit in there for 10 minutes before serving it.
This is the best Italian ricotta pie recipe and worth the effort!
How to Serve this Sweet Christmas or Easter Pie
This traditional Italian Easter ricotta pie with pre-made pie crust is nice served while still warm from the oven. Add whipped cream if liked, or even some mixed fresh berries.
If you want to make a savoury pie, this pizza giana rustica is also delicious pie and also perfect for an Eastertime meal on Easter Sunday. The sweet ricotta pie is the traditional Easter dessert but also served on Christmas in Italian households. These pie recipes are the best part of the time of year!
Sweet Italian Ricotta Easter Pie FAQs
A lot of pie crusts sold frozen come in a foil pan, so let the pie shell thaw for about ten minutes in there and then use a fork to take it out of the foil before putting it in a pie dish. You can use the foil later as a tent over the pie while it cooks, to stop it from burning. Also, tenting foil over the pie as it cooks traps steam which helps the pie cook evenly.
You can keep the pie for several hours at room temperature, so you don’t have to chill it before serving. Leftovers can be covered in plastic wrap or airtight container and kept refrigerated. Finish any leftovers within two or three days. Alternatively it will freeze for up to three months.
Sweet Italian Ricotta Pie Recipe
Sweet Italian Ricotta Pie
- 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
- 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.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
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 favourite family recipe.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.