Become a Better Cook in 4 Days!

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.

clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon heart heart icon heart solid heart solid icon
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

You may also like these other recipes featuring Peapod:

Baked Stuffed Shrimp

Baked Stuffed Shrimp - A Family Feast

Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken Stew

Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chicken Stew - A Family Feast


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

  • Share
  • Pin
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Meet The Author: Martha

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe rating

    What type of comment do you have?

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Jennifer Cox wrote:

    This recipe is so perfect! It was almost exactly like the pies my Mother used to make every Easter before she had passed away over 8 years ago. This comes very close to hers! And dare I say it? The crust is actually even better because it is more flaky and much easier to cut and eat! Thank you for sharing this recipe! It is the closest thing I have to my Mother making it. It is so delicious! God bless!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Jennifer – we are honored to have our recipe turn out even half as good as your mother’s pie!

  • Doom Fecco wrote:

    This recipe was so amazing. I rolled the crust between two sheets of waxed paper and it worked very easily. Mixing the ricotta was a breeze and keeping in the oven is definitely the secret. The flavor of the almond and vanilla in the crust makes the pie very tasty. Everyone enjoyed the pie!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much!

  • Andrea wrote:

    Hi! I just made this pie. It smells wonderful but it’s very soft in the middle. Should I keep it in longer or will it settle?
    Thanks for the info🙏🏻🐰

    • Martha wrote:

      If it’s still liquid in the middle yes. If it’s slightly jiggly, it might be done and will firm up a bit more once it is chilled. Hope that helps!

  • Lorraine wrote:

    Going to try your lovely recipe today! Just a little worried about the water in the oven. Might the moisture short out an electric oven?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lorraine – As long as you don’t spill the water all over the oven, I think you should be fine putting a pan of water on the lower rack. The water bath will just create more moisture in the oven air. Good luck!

  • Lauren wrote:

    Smells great and waiting To try tomorrow for Easter. Only thing is I bought a deep dish especially for this recipe but I think a regular pie plate would be better as the filling didn’t seem to fill the deep dish. Might take some crust off the top so it looks a little better.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for your feedback Lauren.

  • Shannon wrote:

    Outstanding… this is better than anything you could buy in an Italian bakery. I had to play around with the temperature (my oven seems to run hot), for me the crust browned fast. I needed a pie shield and just a touch of lower temp (I baked it at 325 for just a few minutes longer). I love the cake like texture of the crust on the bottom and the custard consistency on the top. Thank you for posting this!

    • Martha wrote:

      Wow Shannon-thank you so much! We’re very glad you enjoyed the pie!

  • Corinna Fabretti wrote:

    Could you use a reg refrigrated. Pie crust ?

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Corinna – the homemade crust is totally different, much thicker and it adds better flavor – but if convenience is better for your needs, you can make this in a store-bought crust.

  • Carrie wrote:

    This sounds so delicious. I have a stupid question, do you put the pie into the water bath or do you put it on a separate rack above the pan of water?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Carrie – No such thing as a stupid question – sometimes with water baths, you do put the pan right in the water dish and sometimes you don’t! In this case, since a pie plate is so shallow, we are having you put the pan of water on the rack underneath the pie plate to avoid getting the water in the pie. (If you were baking a cheesecake, for example, in a springform pan with taller sides, you could put it right in the water.) The moisture from the pan of water should help prevent the pie from cracking as it bakes. Hope that helps!

  • Shane wrote:

    I make this all the time now. Love it

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you are enjoying the recipe Shane!

  • Eddie Ribo wrote:

    I followed instructions exactly and so far am THRILLED!! I never got a copy of my Mom’s “pizza dulce” Easter ricotta pie and this recipe brought tears to my eyes. It is now in refrigerator uncovered as instructed and tomorrow morning I plan to indulge with my morning coffee! Thank you thank you. The pie looks just like yours and The house smelled wonderful as it baked!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Eddie – We hope our version is just as good as your mom’s.

  • Sandra wrote:

    Can I use spring form pan?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sandra – As you might see in the photos, this is really more of a pie so a pie plate will work best.

  • james w broemer wrote:

    Let me start with -thank you for sharing-
    I was curious about the crust having almond extract added-it did not appear to be on the original photo of the recipe-
    Also, the sugar seems to have been adjusted downward and the vanilla increased. You also appear to have left out putting the crust in the refrigerator while preparing the filling – it may not seem like an issue to you but in the world of baking ALL those details make a HUGE difference. Could I ask for a copy of the original – as written- without interpretation? I have been seeking an original recipe for over 20 years and for these reasons am never able to k=get an original. It would mean the world to my family.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi James – Thanks for your message – you’ve raised some valid points about baking of which we both agree.

      As mentioned in the post, we made three versions of this pie before publishing the recipe in the post – the first being exactly as written in the copy you see. From what we both remember (it’s been a few years since we made the recipe), the first crust tasted like cardboard and the filling was overly wet and very sweet. So we changed the recipe as you noted. While we always love the idea of posting an original, vintage recipe exactly as written – if you are a regular reader of our recipes – then you already know that we’d rather update a vintage recipe so it’s delicious and better suited for today’s ingredients and cooking methods.

      We’d be happy to email you a copy of the original recipe – although it might take us a few days to find it. Jack’s files are packed up in boxes at the moment while we paint his home office. As soon as we find the box, we’ll send it to you at the email address here on your comment.


  • Diane Lanken wrote:

    I don’t eat refined sugar only honey. And no refined flour. Can this be done with honey and a whole grain white flour?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Diane – We’ve only made the recipe as written. I think the flour swap would be fine, but since the honey is a liquid vs granulated sugar, you may need to make some other adjustments to accommodate the additional liquid in the filling. Let us know how it comes out!

  • Brian Fagan wrote:

    Hi – it’s baking now, aromas great! A question — is that amount of flour correct?? My dough was a batter, not even close to a dough. However, I did have to use about 1/2 cup almond flour as – like the entire world now — ran out of regular flour. Ended up kneading in more kneading in some coconut flour (yes, really scraping the bottom of all the flour bins), so we will see.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Brian – Almond flour has more moisture in it than all-purpose flour so it’s entirely possible that is what changed the consistency of your pie crust….hope it still worked out!


    Just made it….It’s cooling. My crust is not very pretty, but neither was late mother’s. This looks and sounds like the pie she made. I am looking forward to serving it tomorrow, for Christmas! Buon Natale!

    • Martha wrote:

      Aw – we’re honored you chose our recipe Lisa. (I hope our recipe is as delicious as your mother’s.) Merry Christmas to you too!

  • Karen H wrote:

    Have you ever tried to freeze this pie? Wondering if I can make it a couple weeks in advance of serving.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Karen – We haven’t tried freezing it ourselves. In general, cheesecakes freeze well – so I think this would be OK. Please let us know how it works out!

  • 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!

  • A Family Feast ® is a registered trademark of A Family Feast, Inc. All content, including recipes, text, visual elements, and photographs are copyright © A Family Feast, Inc. 2012-2020, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.