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This 100+ year old recipe for Italian Ricotta Pie has been passed down through generations.

This 100+ year old recipe for Italian Ricotta Pie has been passed down through generations. Perfectly sweet with great flavors - a slice of Italy!

We’re sharing this Italian Ricotta Pie as part of an ongoing Ambassadorship with Peapod. All opinions are 100% mine.

Today we’re sharing a treasured family recipe from my husband’s side of the family. This recipe for Italian Ricotta Pie was part of a collection of handwritten (and very weathered) recipes that we were lucky enough to inherit from Jack’s grandmother.

Italian Ricotta Pie - A Family Feast

Italian Ricotta Pie is a classic, traditional recipe – often served at Easter. Like so many of the other passed-down recipes that we’ve recreated here on A Family Feast, this 100+ year-old family recipe was vaguely written, and it lacked some exact ingredient measurements. So – it actually took us three attempts to get this Italian Ricotta Pie recipe just right! (You’ll also notice that Jack’s grandmother called it a ‘cake’ but it is baked in a pie plate!)


Italian Ricotta Pie - A Family Feast

I think our Italian Ricotta Pie will make any fan of traditional Italian foods very happy!  (Especially those of you who love Italian desserts!)

This pie has a lightly sweetened, very moist ricotta cheese filling, and a thick, rustic crust with hints of both vanilla and almond flavors. Interestingly – this recipe does not use butter in the crust. Extra virgin olive oil is used instead – and it totally works – giving the crust a crispy, flaky and almost cookie-like texture on the outer edges, and the bottom crust under the ricotta cheese filling is slightly cake-like in texture.


This 100+ year old recipe for Italian Ricotta Pie has been passed down through generations. Perfectly sweet with great flavors - a slice of Italy!

You can buy all of the ingredients to make this Italian Ricotta Pie – as well as everything else you’ll need to prepare your Easter dinner – from Peapod’s grocery delivery service. Peapod carries thousands of items including Easter candy, holiday hams, and so much more – just like your local supermarket.  You can even place your grocery order from the Peapod app! Just decide on the date and time of your grocery delivery – and Peapod will bring your groceries to your home or office.

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Italian Ricotta Pie - A Family Feast

Italian Ricotta Pie

  • Author: Martha
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


Please note: The dough for the crust is very delicate and very soft. This is normal and if it breaks as you put it into the pie plate, it can easily be repaired by pressing the tear together. (So don’t worry at all if it doesn’t roll out and transfer perfectly to the pie plate.)



1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 egg yolks (save egg whites for filling)

1/3 cup whole milk

1/3 cup good quality olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

Flour for dusting your counter


2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese

½ cup granulated sugar

3 whole eggs, beaten

2 egg whites (saved from making the crust)

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring 2 or more quarts of water to boil on stove. In the bottom rack of the preheated oven, place a baking dish such as a 9×13-inch baking dish and fill with the hot, boiled water. Place another oven rack directly over that to next rack position.

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and sugar. Stir to combine.

In a smaller bowl combine egg yolks, milk, olive oil, and both extracts.

Make a hole in the center of the flour and pour in liquid. With a wooden spoon, mix to combine. (If the mixture gets too difficult to combine with a wooden spoon, used your hands to finish mixing).

Flour your countertop well and place the dough ball in the center, pressing to form a round disc. Keep flouring, pressing and flipping. Flour a rolling pin and gently roll to a circle an inch or two larger than a deep dish 9-inch pie plate.

Either fold the dough in half and place over half the pie plate, flipping other half over or roll the dough onto your rolling pin than back over the pie plate. Again, the dough is soft and delicate so be gentle.

Use your fingers to form and press the dough into the confines of the pie dish, crimping the top edge all the way around (as you would any other pie) by pinching with thumb and index finger. Set aside, the shell is not pre-baked.

Make the filling by placing the ricotta in a large bowl and mixing in sugar until combined.

Add whole eggs, egg whites and vanilla and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. If lumpy, use a wire whisk to smooth out.

Pour directly into unbaked crust. Cover the crust edge with foil or pie crust shield so the edges don’t get too browned as the pie bakes.

Place pie in the center of oven on the rack over the water bath and bake for one hour and ten minutes. Turn off oven but leave the pie in the oven for ten more minutes. (Don’t open the oven door during any of the time that the pie is in the oven.)

Carefully remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. (Cool completely before refrigerating – if you put the pie in the refrigerator while still warm, it will weep slightly and collect moisture on top.) Chill overnight uncovered.

Once chilled, cut and serve.

Keywords: Easter, ricotta pie

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This 100+ year old recipe for Italian Ricotta Pie has been passed down through generations. Perfectly sweet with great flavors - a slice of Italy!

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  • John wrote:

    I’ve been trying ricotta pie recipes for years this is by far the best.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you John! So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Joy wrote:

    How can I tell if done?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Joy – Similar to a pumpkin pie, the custard will be mostly set except for the center which will continue to cook through a bit as it sits in the water bath and then again as it sits and cools once it is out of the oven. It will also firm up once you chill the pie overnight. Hope that helps – if you are following our instructions exactly, the timing should be correct. Hope that helps!

  • Rosalie Giansante wrote:

    My Mom used to make this Italian pie,but some how, the recipe got lost. Your recipe sounds like hers and I’ll make it for Easter this year. Thank you for sharing. Happy Easter !

    • Martha wrote:

      I hope ours is as good as the version your Mom used to make! Happy Easter!

  • Miriam Mashiah wrote:

    Dear Martha, I was very glad to find this recipe. I made my own ricotta, and added lemon zest.
    Some recipes use chocolate, but it’s a love or hate camp!! My husband is in the no chocolate camp! Olive oil crust was also a need!!
    What I am trying to say is that this recipe is very adaptable and I’m looking forward to the results. In the oven now 🙂
    I’m sure powdered sugar on top will work too.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you all love the pie Miriam!

  • Rhonda Saltamachio wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. Going to try and make it this week.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome – We hope you love the pie Rhonda!

  • kelley wrote:

    I just put this in the oven. Can’t wait to see how it comes out. One question. The egg whites. Did you beat them separately? I wasn’t sure so I did and then folded them into the pie. Made a very light airy filling. Loved the crust. So easy and smelled great. I did alter a few of the flavors. I used lemon juice and lemon zest in both the crust and the filling along with the almond sans vanilla flavoring. Hope I didn’t mess it up.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Kelley – We didn’t beat the egg whites separately but no problem if you did! We hope you enjoyed the pie!

  • Doris wrote:

    One of my biggest disappointments in life is not getting the recipe for my Aunt Jessies Ricotta pie . It is not exactly like yours as she used to add a broken up Hershey’s chocolate bar to hers and then dust the finished pie with powedered sugar. I have tried to replicate it over the years but am anxious to try your version. She did not use the crust that you state in the recipe. For some reason, she used zweiback crumbs and always oiled a glass pie plate but the filling you are using seems to be very much like hers, minus the chocolate. I miss her and her cooking so much! I can still taste this pie and her Braciole. What great memories! Thanks for posting this and I will try it soon.

  • chantelle wrote:

    Making your recipe today for Easter. Looks delicious can’t wait. Thanks for sharing!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the pie Chantelle!

  • Mary wrote:

    What a fantastic recipe. Nothing quite like bringing the past into the future! Pinned. We’ll have this for Easter dinner. Checked out the site for Peapod… very impressive. Lots of delicious recipes. Pinned it also. Thanks for the recipe, the work you and Jack put into perfecting it, and for sharing Peapod. Happy Easter!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Mary! Happy Easter to you too!

  • Audrey wrote:

    Where can you find Ricotta milk? I am sure in the grocery store, but never have seen it in your stores.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Audrey – The recipe calls for Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese which should be available in most supermarkets. (Some ricotta is part skim milk do look for the whole milk/full fat version). Hope that helps clarify!

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