This Italian Easter Ricotta Pie is a holiday favorite with a sweet cookie-like crust and chocolate chip-studded orange ricotta filling.
Ricotta Pie is a traditional Easter dessert in many Italian households. There are plenty of variations, from the type of citrus added to chocolate chips and optional candied fruit. While searching for different recipes, I was drawn in to The Parsley Thief’s version based on her grandmother’s recipe. Her photos of the pie are gorgeous and I wanted to give the lattice pattern a try. The base of the pie is a sweet cookie-like dough that is fairly easy to work with after chilling in the refrigerator. The filling is made up of sweetened ricotta, orange zest, cinnamon, and chocolate chips.
Overall, this Easter Ricotta Pie looks complicated, but was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. It is definitely sweet. A small slice with a dollop of whipped cream was perfect for me, any larger would have been too much. The Parsley Thief linked a video on YouTube showing how to make a lattice pattern. The lattice topping is completely optional, but I loved the added special touch.
Make sure to drain the ricotta overnight to remove any excess moisture before creating the filling. I used a fine mesh sieve lined with a coffee filter (or cheesecloth) to drain it.
Italian Easter Ricotta Pie Recipe
Adapted from The Parsley Thief
Italian Easter Ricotta Pie
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled and diced
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 1 pound ricotta cheese drained in colander overnight in refrigerator
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 orange zest
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 beaten egg
- Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
To make the crust:
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Cut in the chilled butter using a pastry blender, forks, or fingers to create a coarse mixture. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, then the eggs until well combined.
Split the dough into two pieces, with one slightly larger. Shape each piece into a flattened circle, wrap, and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
To make the filling:
In a large bowl, combine drained ricotta, sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the chocolate chips.
To assemble the pie:
Preheat oven to 325˚F and lightly grease a 9 inch round pan with removable bottom.
On a floured work surface, roll the larger piece of dough into a 1/8 inch thick circle. Gently place in the 9 inch pan, using your fingers to press the crust to fit into the bottom of the pan. Fold the top of the crust over the edges of the pan.
Pour the filling into the crust, using a spatula to evenly distribute.
On a floured surface, roll the second piece of dough into a 1/8 inch thick circle. Cut into 1/2 inch wide strips. Place the strips over the filling in a lattice pattern. Neatly fold in the edges of the bottom crust, cutting away any excess.
Brush the crust with the beaten egg. Bake in preheated oven until the filling sets and the crust turns golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan 15 minutes before removing to wire rack. Refrigerate when cool. Serve chilled, dusted with additional ground cinnamon if desired.