When I think of my families Easter traditions, one thing comes to mind immediately.....Ricotta Pie! And if you are a true Italian, it's pronounced without the "a".....Ricot Pie.
In studying to get this recipe just right, like my family has made it for years, I discovered that, not only is their one traditional recipe, but there are 2 more. And those three recipes, all slightly different, have been made each year in a competition between my Grandmother and her 2 siblings. Since my Grandmother had passed away almost 13 years ago, my Aunt Nancy carried on the daunting task of making her version and competing with our Aunt Carol. I recall this competition......the bantering and cackling....the constant assessment of the pieces "missing" from each pie.....and the final count! Pure healthy family disfunction at its finest. What I did not know is that years ago, before I was old enough to remember, my Great Uncle Fred was in on this 3-way dual with his two sisters. That would be the 3rd version I was referring to earlier. Apparently my great uncle bowed out after years of winning and years of not hearing the end of it from his sisters. I have obtained this exact recipe (cue the evil laughter) and plan to rock the boat at this year's Easter brunch.....well, it'll be a little healthy competition and maybe the next generation can take back the Ricotta Pie crown!
Homemade Crust Recipe:
~3 cups flour
~3/4 cup sugar
~1 stick butter, melted
~3/4 tsp baking powder
~3/4 tsp vanilla
*Mix dry ingredients (flour, sugar, and baking powder). Make well in center. Add butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well with fingers. If too soft, add more flour. Make crust extra tall to hold a lot of filling!
Filling Recipe (the best part):
~2 lbs whole milk ricotta
~1 cup whole milk
~3/4 cup sugar
~1/2 pint heavy cream
~1 tsp vanilla
*Combine all ingredients until smooth. Secret: do not over mix the filling or pie will be soggy.
Pour into 2 unbaked 9-inch shells. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 50 minutes.
Let cool and set before cutting and serving for about 30 minutes.
For my first ever attempt at making this recipe, it came out very yummy! I will be sharing with my neighbors as Easter is weeks away....but my daughters and I will be making this recipe again, and for many years to come, to continue my family's tradition. Enjoy!