Sweet Ricotta Pie

The Sweet Ricotta Pie Recipe is complete without a ricotta pie. This light, citrus-tinged pie, with its creamy ricotta filling and sweet crust, sings of spring. Although this savory pie is traditionally served as a meal, it can also satisfy a sweet tooth. 

There are many different varieties of Sweet Ricotta Pie (pizza dolce) out there, but we stick to a very basic pie that will please all palates. If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding candied orange peels, grated lemon zest, miniature chocolate chips, or nuts to the filling.

Makes one 10-inch deep-dish pie, 6 to 8 slices

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 orange
1 lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, melted and cooled

3 pounds ricotta
1¾ cups sugar
10 large eggs
3½ tablespoons pure vanilla extract

To prepare the crust, in a medium bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and sugar with your hands. Using a grater, grate the orange and lemon zests into the flour mixture. Reserve the fruit of the orange and lemon for the filling.

Add the vanilla, eggs, and butter, kneading them into the mixture with your fingertips. This dough should have a smooth, even consistency, so if the mixture is still crumbly, add cold water, 1 teaspoon at a time until you can easily form the dough into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
To prepare the filling, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the ricotta until it has a smooth, even texture. Mix in the sugar on medium speed. Mixing on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time.

After all of the eggs have been added, stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Mix again on medium speed for about 20 seconds. Add the vanilla. Either squeezing firmly with your fingers or using a citrus squeezer, add the juices from the orange and lemon (if you are squeezing the juice out with your hands, be sure the pits don’t get into the filling mixture).

Mix the ingredients on medium speed until they are thoroughly combined.

While assembling the pie, be aware that this dough is extremely delicate, so be sure to sprinkle your work surface and rolling pin generously with flour. To prepare the pie shell, divide the chilled ball of dough in half. Roll out one half to a circle about 12 inches in diameter, approximately ¼ inch thick.

Fold the circle in half, place it in a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate so that the edges of the circle drop over the rim, and unfold the dough to completely cover the pie plate. Because this dough is so delicate, coat your fingertips with flour before crimping the crust. Using your thumb and index fingers, crimp the edges of the pie shell.

To assemble the pie, spread the filling across the bottom of the pie shell, distributing it evenly. Roll out the second half of the dough, again to about ¼-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife or a pastry wheel, cut the round into ¾-inch strips.

Place the strips over the top of the pie filling, lattice style, so that the edges of the strips meet the crimped edges of the pie shell. Ultimately, you want to create a checkerboard effect, with the lattice strips placed both vertically and horizontally across the pie.

To bake, place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pie 180 degrees for even browning. Bake for approximately 20 more minutes, or until the pie is firm in the middle.

Transfer the pie plate to a wire cooling rack and allow the pie to cool completely before serving. Sweet Ricotta Pie should be served cold or at room temperature. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Sweet Ricotta Pie Recipe
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