I had a very lovely holiday weekend, including a trip to Mystic, CT and to Providence, RI as well as Easter dinner with Lane’s family. It was a really great time, with really great food. Of course, as we’ve established, I can’t ever just go anywhere without bringing something. I swear, it’s my mother’s fault for raising me that way! Since there are twenty-five of us on my mother’s side (not counting anyone’s spouse or significant other), we just don’t have a big family get-together for Easter anymore. Just because you can’t be with the Italians for Easter doesn’t mean you can’t bring some Italian to someone else’s house :), and this dessert just screams “spring” to me. This ricotta pie with pineapple is one of my favorite Italian desserts, and I was happy to share it with Lane and his family.
Plan ahead if you want to make this pie, because you’ll need to drain the ricotta for at least 1 1/2 hours, but it’s better to drain it overnight if you can. Draining the ricotta and pineapple results in a much more dense pie, and that’s the texture you’re going for. The picture below may seem like a burned pie to you, but I assure you, it isn’t. The cinnamon sprinkled on top becomes very dark depending on the brand you use (I use Penzeys), so don’t be alarmed if yours also looks burnt. The pie is done when the filling doesn’t move when the pie is jiggled slightly.
Ricotta Pie with Pineapple
for the crust:
- 1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 C. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pound ricotta cheese, drained
- 1 C. heavy cream
- 1 C.sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp.vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 10 oz. canned crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
To make the crust, combine the dry ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.
Pulse several times to mix.
Add the butter and pulse about 10 times to mix the butter in finely.
Add the eggs and pulse repeatedly until the dough forms a ball.
Remove the dough and place on a floured work surface, and carefully remove the blade if needed.
Wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate it while preparing the filling (the dough will keep in the refrigerator for two days if you want to make it ahead of time).
To make the filling, place the ricotta in one strainer and the pineapple in another for at least 1-1/2 hours, or preferably overnight. Discard the liquids.
Add the ricotta to a large mixing bowl, and beat it smooth with a rubber spatula.
Beat in the heavy cream, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla.
Beat in the eggs, making sure the texture is smooth.
Stir in the pineapple.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and gently knead it on a floured surface until it is smooth, then roll the dough into a 10-inch disk.
Coat the pie plate with cooking spray.
Transfer the dough to the prepared plate and press well into the bottom and sides of the plate.
Use the back of a knife (or clean scissors) to remove the excess dough at the rim of the plate.
Create a crust by pinching the dough between your thumb and forefinger.
When you are ready to bake the pie, place the pie plate on the oven rack, then pour the filling inside the pie crust, pouring to the top of the pie plate, leaving 1/8″ of room for when the filling puffs up.
Sprinkle the top of the pie with ground cinnamon.
Bake the pie at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake another 25-35 minutes.
The filling should be slightly puffed, golden, and set (it should be firm not jiggly when you gently move the pie plate).
Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Makes one 9-inch pie (8 servings).