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Close up of ricotta pie slice on parchment paper over wooden table

The Best Italian Ricotta Pie

The best Italian ricotta pie, with an easy-to-make sweet pastry dough and a filling full of flavor. A great recipe for Easter and a brunch table.

  • Total Time: 140 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings



For the dough:

For the filling:

  • 1 pound whole-milk ricotta (drained if it’s too watery, see Notes below)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour (all-purpose or cake)
  • 4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) double or heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (75g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 2 if not using marsala)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons Marsala wine (optional but recommended)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice


For the dough:

  1. Have ready a 9-inch pie pan with removable bottom. In case you don't have a pie dish, you can use a springform pan for cakes. You'll come halfway up the sides with the crust so it's roughly the same height as a pie.
  2. When ready to bake, roll the dough on a lightly floured counter until a few inches bigger than the pie plate.
  3. Carefully line the pan without stretching the dough and pinch the edges. You might need to cut a few overhanging pieces.
  4. Prick the bottom and refrigerate or freeze (better) while you make the filling.
  5. Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.

For the filling:

  1. Mix ricotta and gradually add sugar and flour until creamy. You can do this by hand, it just needs to be well integrated.
  2. Add egg yolks, cream, sour cream, marsala if using, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest. Mix well.
  3. Beat the egg whites with the salt until medium-firm peaks form and add them in 2 parts to the ricotta mixture with a spatula.
  4. Integrate them until there are barely remains of beaten whites, but don’t mix too much and don't beat.
  5. Pour into the cold pie shell and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the filling is almost firm and golden. It should barely giggle in the middle. 
  6. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. It can be kept at room temperature for two days or refrigerated, well covered, for several days.


Ricotta: it might be watery as natural yogurt sometimes is. So you might need to drain it if that is the case. Simply put a colander with a cheesecloth over a bowl, add the ricotta and wait until the liquid has collected. Use it directly. If leaving it do drain overnight or for several hours, cover the bowl and refrigerate it. 

Creamy ricotta: this is a cheese that's supposed to be somewhat grainy, not completely smooth like cream cheese. But you can blend it or process it first to achieve a smoother consistency. 

Flavorings: you can flavor with other extracts or liquors, such as almond, hazelnut, or orange. And other citrus like orange zest, instead of or in addition to the lemon. 

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 637
  • Sugar: 26.4 g
  • Sodium: 693.7 mg
  • Fat: 38.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 57.8 g
  • Protein: 15.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 240.3 mg

Keywords: Italian ricotta pie