Ricotta Filled Baked Pears

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ricotta stuffed pearsI love making desserts using ricotta so when I first saw this recipe in the cookbook, Southern Italian Desserts, I knew I was going to make it!

Crushed amaretti cookies, almond paste, candied orange peel, some of the pear that is scooped from the centers, cinnamon and vanilla all mixed into creamy ricotta then stuffed into a pear and baked, what’s not to like?
Southern Italian Dessert cookbook I received this book for review written by Rosetta Costantino she’s also the author of the acclaimed, My Calabria. I was instantly drawn in by the cover photo which was a beautiful watermelon pudding tart, I’ve never seen anything like it. When summer returns to Chicago and watermelon is back in season I’m definitely going to make that!

All the mouthwatering desserts in the book are organized by region, you’ll find Sicilian Cannoli, Zeppole di San Giuseppe which are fried pastries, Sfogliatelle Ricce, a flaky pastry stuffed with ricotta, Zabaione al Limoncello, Biscotti and various other Italian cakes, pies, cookies and candies and gelato. No doubt I will be referring back to this book quite often.

almond paste and ricotta fillingFor the stuffed pears I needed almond paste which I didn’t have, no worries she tells you how to make it in the book along with many other tips. It was actually quite simple to make, blanched almonds, sugar, water and a little almond extract whirled until it forms a paste in the food processor.
hollowed out pears The key is to find firm but ripe fat bottomed pears so you’ll have plenty of room to stuff them with the ricotta mixture.

baked pearsAs the pears are baking the ricotta mixture puffs up inside and over the top. The recipe gives you the option to then eat it as is, or to drizzle the pears with a chocolate sauce.
chocolate coated baked pears Obviously I went with the chocolate!chocolate coated pearsricotta stuffed pear One word…. DECADENT!


Ricotta Filled Baked Pears and a Giveaway
  • 6 firm-ripe pears
  • ½ cup fresh ricotta, well drained
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup crushed amaretti cookies
  • 5 tablespoons of almond paste, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 tablespoons packed finely chopped candied orange peel
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of vermouth or sweet white wine
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of pure almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons water, plus 1 teaspoon if needed.
  1. Heat oven to 400F, rack in center oven. Have a 8-inch square pan ready.
  2. Cut off the tops of each pear and set aside. Use a melon baller or a small spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving a ¼ inch all around careful not to poke through bottom. Discard seeds, chop flesh and set aside.
  3. Place ricotta into a bowl. Stir in egg, amaretti, almond paste, orange peel,cinnamon and vanilla. Add chopped pears and stir to combine everything.
  4. Place pears into baking pan, fill the cavities with the ricotta filling. Replace the tops on the pears.
  5. Stir together the wine, sugar and water then pour mixture into the pan. Bake until soft and beginning to collapse, mine took a little over an hour. Filling will puff out and brown. spoon some of the sauce over the pears.
  6. Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate until cold or overnight.
  7. Serve the chilled pears in shallow bowls, drizzled with chocolate sauce if you so desire.
  8. CHOCOLATE SAUCE is made my heating the cream until the sides start to bubble, turn off the heat and whisk in the chocolate until smooth and shinny.
  9. ALMOND PASTE is made by placing the almonds and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until it looks like fine cornmeal then add extract, water and remaining sugar until a paste forms. This can be frozen but thaw 1 hour before using.
  10. Notes: If you don't have candied orange peel I would use grated fresh orange peel from 1 orange. I used half and half instead of heavy cream for the chocolate sauce and that worked fine. This recipe has been slightly adapted.
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Italian Sauces My Way E-Book


  1. Your photos are beautiful. The recipe sounds divine and I would LOVE to have the cookbook. Beam me up!!!

  2. Most people only know of cannolis, tiramisu, cassata and a few others for Italian desserts. This proves there is a world of them if you search them out. This cookbook would be a true resource.

  3. Oh my! I want this book so badly! I have Rosetta’s first cookbook –I believe I also gave you a copy when we met a couple years ago 🙂 I have this book on my Amazon wish list as last I looked it wasn’t released as yet. Your pears look amazing, Marie!

  4. It may be late, but it’s still the 13th, so I’d love to be entered in the giveaway! What a lovely cookbook and absolutely perfectly photographed pears . . . the chocolate is truly decadent Marie!


  5. Oh my gosh, those pears are a thing of beauty! Would love to win the cookbook!

  6. This would make a lovely wedding gift!

  7. I love pears and this looks like a perfect way to have them!

  8. Me! Me! Pick me! I want one!

  9. As a fellow Calabrese I loved Rosetta’s first book and will get her dessert book whether I win or not (of course, I hope I win). Her book mentioned many of the same recipes my mother used to make, both sweet and savory. Mom was not big on desserts but there were special treats she prepared that were particular to each holiday and recipes she brought with her from Italy. Turdilli and crocette at Christmas are family favorites. Mom made sure my 4 sisters and I knew how to make them. She was very particular about the technique which my sister Bea very carefully documented. She would make huge batches of these treats each year which she then shared with family and friends. Every Christmas my sisters and I gather together to make these very special treats to honor our mother. They are never as good as hers, but we are getting there.

  10. I would love to try this recipe – I just had a poached pear for the first time and it made me want to experiment with pears 🙂

  11. The pears look awesome! My mouth is watering just looking at how delicious they look. Who wouldn’t like anything stuffed with ricotta and drizzled with chocolate.

  12. This book looks so yummy, would love to see all the recipes from Southern Italy where my father is from and to see how many of them were favorites of his……. wish he was here with us…….

    Thank you, dolly

  13. My Calabria is a great book, I bet this one is too. Your pears are radical!

  14. OMG ~ this looks absolutely fantastic !!! I would love to win the cookbook ! 🙂

  15. I would love to win this book! I regularly make Italian dinners for my family, and would love to learn how to make some Italian desserts to go with them.

  16. Stefanie Sacchetti-Poorman says

    Am always so excited to get your recipes and see what you are up to in the kitchen! You keep me inspired – thank you for that:). This recipe is just beautiful to look at and I can’t wait to share it with my family.

  17. My hips may hate me but the rest of me would LOVE to win this book! 😉 Fingers crossed! xx

  18. A-m-a-z-i-n-g!

  19. Oh, I just love Rosetta – she is fabulous, and so are her recipes. Wasn’t “My Calabria”a dream? I just love that book. I keep hoping that Rosetta will come down from Oakland to Los Angeles to give a class. That would be terrific. This is a wonderful review, Marie. Well done!

  20. Wow — does that look good! Perfect for entertaining too.

  21. I truly enjoy all of your amazing photos & delicious recipes.
    I would absolutely LOVE to have a copy of the book!
    Thank you for sharing your talent & for giving us a chance to win a copy of the book.

  22. Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. I’d love to win this!

  24. Wow! This looks absolutely delicious and stunning! Thanks for the wonderful recipe AND for the giveaway!

  25. What an elegant dessert for a special dinner party with great friends!

  26. Love this — and can’t wait to try it. Thanks Marie.

  27. What a marvelous Fall dessert. Pears lend themselves so well to baking. I love making ricotta and the creaminess of homemade will be perfect in this recipe

  28. This is something I would have never thought of. And, apparently, neither do the the chefs on top Chef and other shows like it. Sounds yummy and rich

  29. Geraldina Hutchinson says

    Marie, I have ordered this book, which was released October 8 and I’m anxiously awaiting for it. My family and I are from Basilicata The food from there is seldom written about in cookbooks so I can’t wait for it to arrive. Your recipes are always tried and enjoyed by my family. I very much enjoy your blog, keep it coming.

  30. This looks like a delicious dessert – and healthy!

  31. Perfect timing-I am about to embark on homemade Ricotta so this would be perfect!

  32. I live in the Midwest and everything is shipped in, so anything that would make it taste better is wonderful. Would love the cookbook to share the receipes with my girls! They sound absolutely wonderful I am going to buy some and try the receipe. Thanks for sharing and I love your blog!

  33. Melissa Guay says

    This dessert looks incredible. I would LOVE a copy of this cookbook, though I’m sure I would drool all over it! 🙂

  34. These pears look fabulous. I might switch to a caramel sauce instead of chocolate. Yum!

  35. Pat Valenzo says

    Can’t wait to try this. Reminds me of the wonderful food in Sicily.

  36. I would love to make the pear dessert, the cookbook would love to win it..Love your blog and many recipes you cook and they all taste like heaven here..we are big ricotta lovers, love all things pasta and also other recipes. Happy holidays soon..ciao mi bella from mary s at momanddad00@clear.net

  37. I get excited when I see Proud Italian Cook emails in my inbox. You’ve dont it again, this recipe for ricotta stuffed pears looks delicious! Thanks for all your hard work to bring us such wonderful recipes.

  38. Leah Romero says

    Oh such a beautiful dessert. Thank you Marie for sharing as always!
    As always, I love your blog.

  39. This recipe looks delish! Would love a copy of the cookbook

  40. These look delicious! I’ll be making them this weekend for my visiting family. I would love the cookbook!!

  41. Dessert is my favorite part of a meal. I would like a copy of this book.

  42. WHAT a wonderful idea to make…. Our pear trees were prolific this year, I mean PROLIFIC…. I have pears everywhere and need something else to do with them… I have ricotta and almonds… I’m in baby!! These look wonderful and can’t wait to try them. I know they will be fabulous because EVERYTHING I make of yours is fabulous (just make the ricotta kale gnocchi last week, with roasted butternut… I moaned and groaned the whole time I ate my portion…. 🙂 )
    Book looks fabulous as well….. Mangia!

  43. Just returned from my first trip to Italy…I see a new cookbook collection happening! This looks wonderful

  44. Wow. They look amazing. Being Italian myself I would love a cookbook.

  45. ThisHoly moly! Those pears look good! My husband does not like cake (Huh???] so for his birthday this is perfect. He loves pears, homemade ricotta and chocolate. I’m making this!!!

  46. Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try.

  47. This dessert sounds wonderful – love anything with ricotta and almond past! Would love the cookbook. Thanks for the give-away.

  48. Kathleen Dixon says

    Sorry forgot to put my last name: Dixon

  49. I am away from home for the month, spending time in central California, Gilroy/Morgan Hill area, yes Morgan Hill as in wonderful wine; but thankfully I have a computer to keep tabs on things like this glorious desert. Fortunately, for me, my daughter’s boyfriend has his computer hooked up to a Mintek high definition huge screen. First the desert is beautiful, the photographs are gorgeous, and the ingredients are enticing. I love every ingredient and cannot wait to get home to make it. Gives me something to look forward to back in hot boring Arizona. I would LOVE to have the cookbook. However I am over the moon to have this glorious recipe. Thank you again for a great website, beautiful pictures and luscious recipes. Kathleen

  50. Kathryn Vai says

    A cookbook of JUST Italian desserts would be an awesome prezzie! Thank you for generously sharing!

  51. Never met a cookbook I didn’t like, LOVE!! Would love to add this to my collection! Thanks so much for the chance to win it!!

  52. Looks like a beautiful book! I would love to learn more and try some of these recipes.

  53. Hi Marie! I am still a novice when it comes to deserts, but I am willing to learn:) Hoping this wonderful book can help me.

  54. I would love to learn to make some Calabrese desserts – really hope I win this!

  55. Thanks for your blog. I love rrading it and seeing the dishes you prepare. That pear dessert looks scrumptious, as does the watermelon tart on the cover. Had limoncello cake a few years ago in Rhode Island. It was one of the absolutely most delicious desserts we’d ever eaten. The book looks great. Thanks for the opportunity towin it.

  56. Marie, I just recently ordered this cookbook and am waiting to receive it. Now I’m even more anxious!! This looks like quite the dessert! I’d love to win a copy of the cookbook to give as a gift.

  57. All I can say is WOW! Just looking at this pear is orgasmic, triple the pleasure eating it, I’m sure! As one of your admirers and early adopter, I’ve cooked with you through all of my life’s cooking transitions over the past several years. Marie, Thank you for keeping my passion for gourmet healthy cooking alive! I hope my most favorite Marie recipe is in the book!! xx, Shelly

  58. Nancy De Astis says

    This would make a very impressive dessert or a dinner party. Can’t wait to try it.

  59. I’m always looking for new ways to use up that last little bit of ricotta in the bottom of the container. Thanks for sharing and for the book, if I win.

  60. Angela Ricca says

    They look delicious….and I would love a copy of this book!

  61. Donna Rowley says

    These look fabulous and I’ve just found the dessert for our progressive dinner this weekend! Would love the cookbook and have many more recipes to try!

  62. Spectacular! And so is the cover photo of Rosetta’s tart.
    I wonder if this recipe would work with an asian pear… of which I have way too many. I guess there is only one way to find out!

  63. Baked pears are my favorite! Can’t wait to give this recipe a try-

  64. Elizabeth B. says

    Yum! That looks delish!

  65. I am making this recipe for a special weekend treat! I would be thrilled to cook more Southern Italian recipes from the cookbook. Thanks for the inspiration.

  66. Look forward to trying this recipe, and would love to add this cookbook to my collection. Great blog. Cook from it often 🙂

  67. Diane Scott says

    Oh yea! Looks absolutely amazing and definitely would make an elegant dessert for company. I am so in on this one! Thanks for sharing!!!

  68. This looks incredible. I would love to have the cookbook.

  69. I read about this book today…looks lovely

  70. Louise DiRe says

    You are the best and I would love the cookbook.

  71. My grandparents both came from Calabria, so when Rosetta’s first cookbook, MY CALABRIA, was introduced, I had to buy it! The recipes remind me so much of those my grandmother made. I tried Rosetta’s ricotta recipe and while it looks long and involved, after you make it once, you realize how easy it is—–and—-the best part—the taste is much superior to the ricotta you buy in the supermarket!

  72. luv any kind of baked fruit, nice review, tfs, chocolatey fingers crossed:)

  73. Rolando Toccafondi says

    Looks like my kind of recipes.

  74. Stunning dessert. I love ricotta and pears. What a brilliant combination. I would love to win the book! Meanwhile, I have your beautiful blog.
    Thank you, Laura

  75. What can I say…that is irresistible. This would be a grand finale to a special dinner. Love it, Marie.

  76. Sounds delicious!

  77. I’ll be making a trip soon to get pears from my little Italian Mom’s pear tree!! This would be a great dessert after her spagetti and fried chicken.

  78. With each blog post my knowledge of Italian cooking and delicious cuisine expands. I would love a copy of the book, but even so, please don’t stop blogging. My mouth waters just looking at the pictures. I am a devoted fan thanks to Patty Mitchell.

  79. I would love to peruse the beautiful book and try some recipes!

  80. That dessert looks amazing!

  81. I’ll be making a trip soon to get pears from my little Italian Mom’s pear tree!! This would be a great dessert after her spagetti.

  82. Pears, chocolate and Ricotta…amazing!

  83. I was born and raised in a Southern Italian home, however we had no desserts like these pears. Not only do they look
    insanely decadent, but I’m sure my guests would believe them to be positively orgasmic. I would indeed love a copy of this book. Thank you for all your recipes, Marie

  84. Gorgeous! I would love to try the watermelon tart too. Where/when can we buy this book?

  85. sue johnston says

    My comment is: why do we always eat desserts last, I think they should be first? Especially these pears, yum! Thanks for the continual inspiration, Marie.

  86. Bring on the pears! How awesome! I’d love to try all the recipes! Love your blog.

  87. Marie, I love trying all your recipes & of course everything Italian. It would be fun to try the desserts in this book.

  88. Lisa Matarazzo says

    Dear Marie; The book and the recipe look amazing – I would love to add this cookbook to my collection. Thanks for all you do, Lisa

  89. Marie! I just love your blog! I have tried several of your recipes and plan to try this pear dessert for Thanksgiving. Since I am Italian, I especially appreciate some of things you post as they remind me of MY own family and the food traditions we had….not to far from some of yours! Thank you!

    Linda M

  90. This came at just the right time! I stopped earlier today @ my local farm market and bought pears to make pear butter plus a few extra for snacking. I showed this to my fella, Vito, as soon as I read this. Tomorrow is my day off so will trying this for our dessert tomorrow night. I can almost smell it. Pears, ricotta and chocolate will combine to form a rich, satisfying treat for my fella and me. Thanks!

  91. Staci Troilo says

    You always post the most timely and delicious recipes. Pears are starting to look good in the stores, and I don’t really have any good pear recipes. This sounds perfect! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks.

  92. There’s only one thing better than cooking and eating Italian….that’s being Italian! So enjoy your web site and will enjoy this cookbook….winning it or buying it. Ciao Bella!

  93. Marie,
    With the crisp cool air of Fall..this would be a fabulously delicious dessert on my table! Thank you! I plan on trying this recipe…..the book would be a very nice and appreciated gift in my Cucina!!!

  94. Kathleen Armstrong says

    This looks like a great recipe! Would love a copy of this book for my daughter who loves all things Italian. We are Italians by heritage. It would be a great addition to her collection.

  95. Delicious!

    I love the My Calabria cookbook. I think she does a magnificent job telling the stories associated with the recipes. Her dessert cookbook would be most welcome to my collection!

  96. Oh, my, does this ever look delicious! Thank you for offering the chance to win the cookbook.

  97. these look AMAZING!!

  98. Rosetta fazio says

    From one calabrisella to another; I would love to add this wonderful book to my kitchen counter with your other Calbaria from Scratch!! So Proud of you …Can’t wait to try this recipe.. and more! Grazie mille!

  99. I’ve had the privilege of attending a number of Rosetta’s cooking classes. Besides being a fine teacher, every one of her dishes is scrumptious! Can’t wait for her desserts book.

  100. I would LOVE a copy of this to share with family and friends…we’re planning on a two-week tour of Southern Italy next year, and many of these tradtional flavors are my favorites!

  101. Darla Delfosse says

    The pears look delicious!

  102. Laura in San Diego says

    Ricotta, chocolate and almonds..? That’s a dream come true!!

  103. Tina Micheal Ruse says

    Love learning about Italian cooking so the book goes on my list if i don’t win! May have to try the pears before I get the book!

  104. The pears look delicious! I’ll bet the cookbook has all kinds of great things!

  105. Marie, Thank you so much for such a wonderful review of my cookbook. I hope you enjoy baking from my book … it is a collection of all my favorite desserts from Southern Italy. Thanks again for sharing my recipe on your website.

    • You’re very welcome Rosetta, I can’t wait to start baking some other things from your beautiful book for the holidays!

  106. Italian is my favorite cuisine. I would adore a copy of this cookbook.

  107. I’d go with the chocolate as well! They look absolutely wonderful!

  108. Kathy Trotta says

    Wow! Never thought about “pairing” ricotta with pears! Looks amazing and with that chocolate sauce … yum!

  109. WOW what a beautiful and unique spin on pears! I love to try new desserts and your blog makes everything look so delicious. My husband and I are native Floridians, but he would eat an Italian dish everyday! Love your blog and would love to win the cookbook 🙂

  110. OMG Marie! What gorgeous photos! Well done. The cookbook looks amazing. I’d love to have it.

  111. What a beautiful presentation! I will absolutely try this recipe. Winning the cookbook would be just wonderful! Thanks Marie!

  112. “Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.”
    ― Erma Bombeck

    I plan to seize the moment to make this delightful dessert… I’m a novice but after looking at these photos I’ve got to give it a shot. The cinnamon, vanilla, candied orange peel are such a compliment to the season!!!

  113. Madeleine Berndt says

    Marie I love all the recipes you post looking at this recipe brings me back to when my mother-in-law was still with us she was the best Italian cook ever. I would love to receive this cook book !

  114. Rachel (S[d]OC) says

    I saw this amazing local fresh ricotta in the store last night and thought, “If I bought it, what would I do with it?” Then I came home and saw this recipe.

    These would be nice drizzled with Nutella on top.

  115. sitting here in Calabria, watching the leaves turn a light gold color… and tripping over pears everywhere!! lemons in the summer, pears in the winter, omg, nothing better. can’t wait to make this recipe in my Italian cucina! Thanks, Marie, for a wonderful site.

  116. These look amazing! Can’t say I’ve ever come across anything similar since I moved to Tuscany. Will definitely be giving it a go with the pears from our garden!

  117. These look amazing Marie. Just the fact that the cookbook has a recipe for Sfogliatelle Ricce is enough to have me take home a copy..the best pastry in the world.

  118. Cannot wait to make these! My paternal grand father is from Calabria, but unfortunately, little is known about this side of my family. My paternal grandmother’s family is from Arezzo and this is style of Italian cooking that I was born and raised on (Tuscan). I would love to have this cookbook to learn about the difference between Tuscan cooking and Calabrian!

  119. Yet another delightful post on your website, those pears loook luscious! As the granddaughter of southern Italian immigrants, this book would be a treasure!

  120. Wow! This dessert looks delicious. Would love to see what else is in this cookbook. Thanks for the chance!

  121. Suzanne Gordon says

    I love finding new ways to use ricotta cheese, time to make another batch of cheese and pick up some pears.

  122. Joan Tomasso Carlone says

    Looks delicious ..a must-make dessert… Love to have the Cookbook !! 🙂

  123. Wow, this would be a big hit for company dinners. I’ve been so tempted to buy that cookbook and even if I don’t win, I don’t think I can resist it any longer after seeing these pears.

  124. jim colello says

    Winning the cookbook, would make a good year even better. Never met a dessert… I didn’t like!

  125. You are one of my favorites, Marie!

  126. This looks awesome. My husband makes his own ricotta. It would be perfect in this recipe.

  127. Being Italian and from the North living in the south I would love to learn some new recipes!

  128. Wow, these pears look so yummy!

  129. These look scrumptious! I would love a copy of this cookbook!


  1. […] Ricotta Filled Baked Pears and an Italian Desserts Book Giveaway ~ Proud Italian Cook […]

  2. […] Here’s hoping you have held on to some of that garlic, maybe even hung a bunch of our thyme in the kitchen where you can get it down for this week’s recipes. I love to cook, and I know I have said it before, but that is why I got into farming in the first place. Okay, right, first and foremost I love to eat therefore I have learned to love to cook. Nothing makes a great cook out of a fair one like the use of fresh local ingredients. I am thinking about cooking as I write because over the past few years there are two words which, for me, have become joined at the hip; baked and fruit. I probably did not bake an apple or pear until I was in my forties. My advice? Don’t wait that long, or if you have, don’t delay in trying it. I have included a very simple recipe for baked pears, but encourage anyone with a sense of adventure to try this: https://www.prouditaliancook.com/2013/10/ricotta-filled-baked-pears.html […]

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