Thursday, April 4, 2013

Week 13- Ricotta Pie

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Italian-American.  I grew up in a town where you were pretty much one of the following: Italian, Irish, Polish or African American (or some combination.)  It always puzzled me when I was a kid reading my history books because everybody seemed to come over to the US from England; by the time they got around to when my folks came on over to the US it was usually about 3 weeks from the end of the school year.

As I moved around, I realized a few things.  Not everyone eats pasta at Thanksgiving dinner.  Not everyone has an Uncle Tony or grew up knowing someone named Fabrizio.  Not everyone had seen the movie "The Godfather" by the time they were 8. 

So, imagine my surprise when I was researching pies for Easter and there is an Italian Easter pie made with ricotta cheese. 

Now when there is something "Italian" that I don't know about, I tend to say "That must be Northern Italian" so as not to sound totally ignorant.  In this case, it might be because my family doesn't bake.  So I called a fellow paisan who is well versed in Italian stuff and asked her if she knew of this pie.  To which she responded, "You mean it's a pizza pie with ricotta?"  OK, so I'm not the only one who doesn't know about this.

I figured I would try it.  And the description said it was like a cheesecake pie, so how bad could it be?

Let's just say, this is not a pie that will be a family tradition.  It was OK, very dense and it had a sort of curdy texture due to the ricotta.  For some reason I thought it would be smoother, more like a cannoli filling.  I used a nip of Amaretto in it (you see, I really am Italian, I like Amaretto) which gave it a nice flavor.  The "crust" wasn't a true crust, it was more like the crumb-like bottom of a cheesecake.

Even the Easter bunny would pass on this one :)

Ricotta Pie
Adapted from the King Arthur Flour website
Ricotta Pie Recipe


1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 2-3 graham crackers)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup almonds
pinch of salt
3 cups ricotta cheese (I used whole milk, but the recipe says you can also use part skim)

6 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur, optional (it's not optional for me!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter the pie pan.
-To make crust, process graham crackers, sugar, almonds and salt together.  Pour crumbs into pan to make a "crust".
-Mix the rest of the ingredients together.  Pour into the "crust".  At this step, my mixture looked really liquidy, but it set up well in the oven. I also had a good amount left over.
-Bake the pie for about 45 minutes.  Use a thermometer to make sure the inside of the pie has reached 160 degrees.  The pie will look unset at this point, but that's OK.
-Let the pie cool for an hour and then put it in the fridge.

Buona Pasqua all! :)

1 comment:

  1. Don't feel bad - didn't learn about ricotta pie until working at the bakery in high school! Since this was a special Easter treat, someone always oops dropped one so it had to be eaten by the workers. I remember it being creamy and sweet like a cannoli. They used to make wheat and rice pies too! We were more cream puff/eclair Italians.