Citrus Infused Ricotta Pie for Easter and Beyond

ricotta pie

Bright citrus flavors of lemon and orange infuse this sweet and creamy ricotta pie. Ricotta pie is a traditional Easter dessert which has so many variations according to individual family recipes. But if I’m to be honest it really isn’t just for Easter, this pie is welcomed any time of the year when you’re wanting a special dessert to serve.

citrus pie

I have another variation of ricotta pie that I make in my own family as well, it’s filled with mini chocolate chips, citron, zest and a hint of cinnamon with flavors like the inside of a cannoli.


But this dreamy version lets the sweetened ricotta shine with hints of vanilla, lemon and orange. This pie is also topped with a lattice crust which reminds me of an Easter basket, and besides the more crust the better in my book!

coffee and pie

With Easter right around the corner this pie would be a perfect addition to your dessert table, Happy Easter!

Citrus Infused Ricotta Pie for Easter and Beyond
  • Use a 9 inch deep dish pie pan
  • Pastry for a double crusted pie, either homemade or a good quality store bought one.
  • 2¾ cups of whole milk ricotta*** IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you drain your ricotta really good, excess moisture will affect the cooking time and texture. You can drain it overnight in the fridge if it's the deli kind sitting in some water. Or you can look for a full fat supermarket version.
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • zest of 1 large lemon or 2 small
  • reserve a pinch of each to sprinkle on top
  • small pastel colored chocolate eggs for garnish presentation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat the drained ricotta with the sugar until very smooth.
  3. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Beat in the vanilla and lemon extract
  5. Fold in the lemon and orange zest to well combined.
  6. Place 1 half of your double pie crust into your pie plate, unbaked
  7. Pour all the filling into the pie shell.
  8. Place the whole plate onto a rimmed cookie sheet for easy in and out of the oven.
  9. Take the other piece of dough, roll it out and make 6 or 8 strips of dough and place them over the filling in a criss cross design.
  10. I usually brush some cream over the top of the crust to make a golden crust, you can do an egg wash as well, then sprinkle the pinch of zest you set aside all over the top.
  11. Bake the pie for around 45 minutes or until ricotta is set and a toothpick comes out clean and crust golden.
  12. Let it cool down then refrigerate before eating
  13. Garnish with a handful of pastel colored, small size chocolate eggs on top for presentation.



Cannoli Pie

cannoli pie I know this may look like a cheesecake but actually it’s a little twist on my Sweet Ricotta Pie that I make every year for Easter. I normally make it in a deep dish ten inch pie plate with a pastry crust, but I thought I’d change it up a bit this year by making it in my springform pan, and instead of a pastry crust I used crushed cannoli shells for the crust, oh yes, it has all the flavors of a cannoli, so I call it a cannoli pie!

cannoli pie  The benefit of the springform pan is that you can release it and place it on a platter for a nice presentation, besides you want to be able to see that pretty cannoli shell crust all around it.

cannoli pie ingredients You can get your cannoli shells directly from an Italian bakery or an Italian food store that has an in house bakery, sometimes they even sell the broken pieces, just ask. My store even directed me to the cookie isle where I was able to find the ones I ended up getting. ( Caputo’s for my local peeps)

The cannoli shells were a breeze to crush in the food processor, just drop in and give them a good whirl!

cannoli shells and orange peels Chopped candied orange rinds is another important ingredient, if you can make your own that’s wonderful, if not you can purchase them, they even sell them on line, I always keep a couple of containers in my pantry.

cannoli pie You’ll treat the cannoli shell crust similar to a graham cracker crust, adding melted butter til it comes together and then pressing it along the bottom and up the sides of the pan.

cannoli pie I would advise you to make this the day before because after it comes out of the oven and cools down it has to be refrigerated, this way it will set really nice for you. I just kept mine in the pan, covered the top with tented foil and refrigerated it just like that, I had no problem un-molding it the next day and it’s much easier to make nice slices.

cannoli pie Then it’s all about adorning it with mini chocolate chips, chopped pistachio and a dusting of powdered sugar, just like a cannoli!

cannoli pie This would be a terrific dessert for Easter or any special occasion that’s coming up and it’s great that it can be made the day before.

cannoli pie It’s creamy, crunchy and dreamy just like a cannoli, make it and see for yourself!

cannoli pie

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Cannoli Pie
  • 8 inch springform pan
  • 7 large cannoli shells
  • ¾ stick of melted butter
  • 1½ tablespoons of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1½ lbs. of ricotta, drained well, not holding moisture
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon, vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon, cinnamon
  • zest of ½ of an orange
  • ½ cup of diced candied orange peel, homemade or store bought
  • ¼ cup of semi sweet MINI chocolate chips, plus extra for garnish
  • handful of chopped pistachio's also for garnish
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling
  • NOTE: If you can't find candied orange peels use the zest of a whole orange.
  1. Heat ovent to 350 degrees
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of your springform pan, then place pan on a rimmed sheet pan for ease of putting in and taking out of oven.
  4. Crush your cannoli shells in a food processor along with the cinnamon and sugar, then pour in the melted butter and process untill it all comes together, then press the crumb mixture into the buttered pan along the sides and bottom, making sure it's not loose but pressing it down firm with the bottom of a glass.
  6. In a large bowl add the drained ricotta, and sugar, beat until smooth.
  7. Add eggs one at a time beating well until all incorporated.
  8. Beat in the vanilla and cinnamon.
  9. Stir in the zest, candied orange peel and chocolate chips.
  10. Pour filling into prepared pan and bake until ricotta is set and toothpick comes out clean, mine took 90 minutes but ricotta varies so keep checking every 15 minutes after an hour if it's not done.
  11. Remove from oven and let it completely cool before you refrigerate it overnight, just keep it in the pan and tent with foil.
  12. NEXT DAY:
  13. Take a knife and carefully go around the rim of the pan, just making sure it's not sticking to the sides at all, then release the spring and place the pie on a platter.
  14. Decorate the top with mini chocolate chips, pistachio's and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
  16. You can make this in a deep dish 10 inch pie plate instead of the springform pan, you might have some crumbs leftover. I would check it after 45 minutes to see if it's done, it will take less time than the springform pan which was much deeper.



Sweet Ricotta Pie

It isn’t Easter time without a ricotta pie! I know there are hundreds of different ways to make ricotta pie, but if you like the flavor of cannoli then you’re going to love this. A blend of ricotta, orange zest, candied orange peel, mini chocolate chips and a hint of cinnamon flavors this pie.

You still have plenty of time to make this, you can use your own favorite pie dough recipe for the crust, but if you feel rushed and don’t have time or you’re not a fan of making your own, go ahead and use a good quality store bought crust that’s refrigerated or even frozen, I’ve done it many times myself!

Now for an important note: Make sure you drain your ricotta good! You don’t want it to be wet, make sure you get all the excess moisture out or else it will affect the cooking time and texture. You could drain it overnight in the fridge or a couple of hours before you put it together or just look for a drier ricotta, not one that is soaking in water.

Here’s the filling: 1 1/2 lbs of ricotta, 3/4 cup sugar, 5 large eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, zest of one orange, 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips, semi sweet, and 1/2 cup of diced candied orange peel.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the ricotta with the sugar until very smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cinnamon. Stir in the candied fruit, zest of one orange and chocolate chips. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and swirl it with the tip of a knife.
Bake the pie for 45 minutes, or until ricotta is set and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and chill.
Make sure you chill it down in the refrigerator before you slice into it to receive the optimum full flavor.

Happy Easter!