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Pies and Tarts
italian ricotta cheese pie
Pasta Sfogliata (Italian Ricotta cheese pie made with pasta sfogliata; flavored with candied fruit and orange rind)
Originated from: Southern Italy
Occasion: Easter and other times
Contributed by: Adapted from "Southern Italian Cookery" by Colette Black (Crowell-Collier Press, 1963)

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2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup ice water
1/2 pound butter

1 pound ricotta cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped candied fruit
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten


To make pastry dough

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl; make a well in the center. Into it put the lemon juice and the ice water. Work in flour until a dough is formed.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface about 10 minutes.

Add a little flour if dough is too sticky. Wrap in a towel and chill 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick.

Form the butter into a flat cake and put it in the center of the dough.

Fold over one side, then the other.

Press edges together.

Roll dough into a rectangle, and fold over into thirds again.

Wrap in the towel and chill 15 minutes.

Repeat rolling, folding, and chilling four more times, always facing the open ends towards you.

Use for making pastries or with the ricotta cheese filling.

To make pie

Roll out half the dough to fit an 11-inch pie plate.Chill while preparing the filling.

Beat the cheese and sugar until smooth.

Mix in the candied fruits, almonds, and orange rind.

Fold in the egg whites.

Spread in the lined pie plate.

Roll out the remaining dough and cover the pan, pressing the edges together.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven 30 minutes.

Cool on a cake rack.

Serves 10-12.


The recipe in this entry was adapted from one in "The Southern Italian Cookbook" by Colette Black and illustrated by Janice Cowen. The book was published by Crowell-Collier Press in 1963.... Photo: Mary Melfi.

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