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Sweet Italian Ricotta Pie

This traditional Italian dessert, affectionately known as sweet Italian Easter pie, is a masterclass in rich, creamy textures and bold flavors. The harmonious balance of citrus zest, warm spices, and sweet ricotta creates a truly show-stopping finale to any holiday meal. The lattice crust adds an element of whimsy and sophistication, making it a standout dessert for Christmas or Easter gatherings.

A sweet and indulgent treat, Italian ricotta pie boasts an impressive array of flavors, including the brightness of citrus, the nutty depth of almonds, and the comforting warmth of vanilla. It’s the perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.

If you’re in the mood for more delectable desserts, be sure to try my amaretto cream pie with its crunchy almond crust or this classic key lime pie, bursting with tangy flavor.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Indulge in a slice of Italy’s festive spirit by making this delectable ricotta pie, a beloved treat during holidays like Easter and Christmas. Its harmonious flavors will transport your taste buds to the Tuscan countryside, where every bite is a celebration of life’s special moments.

How to Make Italian Ricotta Pie

To begin, grab your pre-made pie crust and place it in a pie plate. Crack three eggs into a bowl, separating two of them by adding only the yolks to the mixture while reserving the whites. Refrigerate this egg yolk and white mixture for future use as an egg wash for the baked pie pan. Next, combine the ricotta cheese with sour cream, egg whites, Cointreau, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sugar, and orange zest in a separate bowl. Once the mixture is smooth, add the prepared pie filling and stir until well combined. Pour this creamy mixture into the pie crust, covering it with foil before baking for an hour to allow the filling to set. To prepare the topping, whisk together almond extract, heavy cream, and the reserved egg yolk and white mixture. Unroll your Pillsbury dough and cut it into strips using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Brush the egg mixture over the strips, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. This Italian ricotta pie recipe is truly worth the effort!

Substitutions and Variations

While Cointreau is a popular choice for this recipe, feel free to experiment with other orange liqueurs or even swap out citrus flavors altogether. If you’re looking for a different twist, try substituting lemon zest and juice for an uplifting alternative. To add some extra depth to your filling, consider incorporating mini chocolate chips for a delightful textural contrast.

Serving Suggestions

When celebrating Easter in the Italian tradition, a show-stopping sweet ricotta pie is a must-have dessert. For a savory twist, consider preparing pizza giana rustica, a rich and flavorful pie that’s perfect for the occasion. To balance out the creamy filling of these pies, serve them alongside a light and refreshing accompaniment like whipped cream or a colorful mix of fresh berries. For added flair, drizzle your favorite gluten-free sauce or spread over the top, infusing each bite with an extra layer of flavor.

How to Store Sweet Christmas or Easter Pie

When storing your sweet Italian ricotta pie, be mindful of the timeline. For optimal freshness and quality, keep leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container and consume within three days. If you’re looking to preserve the pie for a longer period, consider freezing it. Just remember to store it in a freezer-safe container or bag, where it will remain safe and edible for up to three months.

Top Tips

Before baking your masterpiece, it’s essential to take a few crucial steps to ensure a flawless finish. Start by thawing your frozen pie crust for about 10 minutes, allowing it to relax and become more pliable. This simple step makes all the difference in handling and shaping the crust to fit your pie pan with ease.Next, when separating your eggs, precision is key. Place the egg whites in the filling bowl and the yolks in the egg wash bowl – this subtle distinction will yield a rich, golden color and a fluffy filling that will make your taste buds sing. When crafting the filling itself, whisk it thoroughly until smooth, guaranteeing an even blend of ingredients that will translate to a consistent and scrumptious flavor profile.Finally, don’t overlook the importance of a foil tent in baking your pie. Cover it with a layer of foil or the pan the crust came in to prevent burning and promote uniform cooking – this simple trick will render your pie with a perfect texture that’s sure to impress. And remember, when cutting your pie crust into strips for that added flair, don’t be afraid to get creative! Vary the length, width, and pattern of your strips to create a stunning design that will leave everyone in awe.

Sweet Italian Ricotta Easter Pie FAQs

While both sweet and savory Italian Easter pies are popular during the holiday, they cater to distinct tastes. The sweet version, akin to an Italian Ricotta Pie, is a dessert staple, whereas its savory counterpart is filled with meats and cheeses, making it part of the main course. When it comes to this particular recipe, you have the flexibility to experiment with different pie crusts. If you’ve got a gluten-free crust recipe that yields a deep-dish result, feel free to use it. Just ensure the crust can accommodate the generous creamy filling. To determine if your pie is done, look for a golden-brown top and set filling. If the crust is browning too quickly, cover it with foil or a pie crust shield during the final stages of cooking. It’s also important to note that using whole-fat ricotta is recommended for optimal flavor and texture. Low- fat ricotta can result in a watery filling, so stick with the real deal.

Easter Ricotta Pie Recipe

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Sweet Italian Ricotta Pie

Sweet Italian ricotta pie is a beloved traditional dessert that combines the creamy richness of ricotta with the warmth of vanilla, orange, and spices. This classic treat is perfect for the holiday season, whether you’re celebrating Christmas or Easter. To make things even easier, feel free to use pre-made pie crust instead of pasta frolla. The result will be a comforting family favorite that’s sure to please even the most discerning palates. With only 15 minutes of prep time and just over an hour of total cooking time, this recipe is a snap to make. It yields 16 generous servings, making it ideal for gatherings or special occasions.


Begin by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F. Take a prepared pie crust, typically found in a foil pan, and place it into a pie pan. To remove the crust from the foil pan, let it thaw for about 10 minutes then carefully use a fork or toothpick to extract it. Place the pie crust directly into your 9” pie pan and reserve the foil pan for later use as a tent to prevent burning and retain heat/steam.Next, prepare two small mixing bowls – one for the eggs in the filling and another for the egg wash. In the filling bowl, crack three eggs, then separate the remaining three eggs by placing the whites into the filling bowl and the yolks into the egg wash bowl. Whisk each bowl thoroughly, then refrigerate the egg wash until step 6.In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta, sour cream, eggs, vanilla extract, and Cointreau, whisking until smooth. Add cinnamon, orange zest, and sugar, whisking for an additional two minutes. Pour the filling into each pie crust and cover with foil or the foil pan from earlier, placing it on the center rack of your oven. Bake at 325 degrees F for one hour.Once the baking time has elapsed, remove the egg wash from the refrigerator and whisk in heavy cream and almond extract until combined. Unroll a prepared pie crust and use a pizza cutter to cut it into small strips. Brush each strip with the egg wash mixture then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Remove the pie from the oven, discarding the foil covering.Increase your oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Be creative in laying out the pie strips, considering length, width, and pattern – I chose a cross pattern of three horizontal and three vertical strips, woven where they meet in the center. You can also weave the strips to cover the entire pie, create a starburst pattern, or something entirely different.At this point, the filling will still be pudding-like in consistency but should be thick enough for the crust strips to lie across the top without sinking. Place the pie back into the oven on the center rack and bake for 20 minutes. Turn off your oven and allow the pie to sit for 5-10 additional minutes before serving. Allow the pie to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.