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Pies and Tarts
ricotta pie
Ricotta Pie (filled with ricotta, eggs and granulated sugar; flavored with cinnamon, vanilla and lemon juice)
Originated from: Molise, Italy
Occasion: Easter
Contributed by: Taken from Rizzi DeFabo's cookbook, "Cooking with Rizzi" (Crabtree Press, 2010)

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For Filling:
2 ounds whole milk Ricotta cheese
10 eggs, beaten
3/4 granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

For Dough:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, more if needed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To make Filling:

Using an electric mixer, beat Ricotta until smooth.

Add beaten eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Beat until smooth.

Add lemon juice and mix.

Cover and set aside.

To make Dough:

Cream together sugar, baking powder, and shortening.

Add beaten egg and lemon juice to creamed mixture.

Gradually add flour until a soft dough begins to form.

Work in remaining flour by hand, until dough is easy to handle.

On a floured surface, divide dough into 4 equal portions.

Roll out 2 portions of dough to fit 2 (9-inch) glass pie plates.

Carefully fit rolled dough into the pie pans.

Divide filling equally between the 2 pies.

Roll out remaining 2 pieces of dough for the tops of pies.

Cut a small circle in center of dough to allow steam to vent, and carefully place dough on top of the pie.

Trim excess dough from edges of pies, leaving enough to crimp and seal with a fork or by hand.

Bake for 1 hour.

Cool completely on wire rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

YIELD: 2 (9-inch) pies.


This recipe was taken from Rizzi DeFabo's cookbook, "Cooking with Rizzi" (Crabtree Press, 2010) with the expressed permission of the author, an award-winning Italian-American chef and owner of "Rizzo's Malabar Inn." "Rizzo's Malabar Inn" is located in southwestern Pennsylvania (126 Rizzo Road, Crabtree, Salem Township). The food served at this restaurant, a local landmark dating back to the 1920s, reflects the culinary traditions of Abruzzo and Molise. Rizzi DeFabo notes in his cookbook that "This Ricotta pie recipe comes from Aunt Marie Gasperin, a close friend of our family. We made the pie in our restaurant during the weeks before Easter as part of our dessert menu.".... Photo: Mary Melfi.

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