Our Easter traditions are very special to Joy and me. We truly treasure the family recipes and enjoy teaching and sharing them with the next generation. Most of our family recipes are over 100 years old now and each recipe brings a great story. We love sharing the stories of our Nana and her five sisters who made these wonderful recipes… oh how we wish we could sit at the table with them just one more time!!
BUT we must get busy and ask the question, “Who’s turn is it to have Easter this year?” ‘What are we going to make?” “Who is going to make Nana’s pies?” Jackie will make a wonderful lemony rice pie, Judy will make the sweet citrus wheat pie and Joy will make the show stopper, Nana’s 100 year old recipe, Italian ricotta pie!
Joy is the only one in the family who can make this 100 year old recipe just like Nana, The difference in this pie is the crust. The cookie like dough is sweet and very crunchy when baked. Its is much easier to put together than regular pie crust. The kids love making little coiled shaped cookies with the left-over dough. They are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with a little hint of vanilla! Yum! A thick creamy ricotta filling is blended with vanilla sugar, homemade vanilla extract and a bit of fresh lemon zest. Enjoy this 100 year old traditional Italian Easter pie, we know it will become a part of your Easter table too! Enjoy!
Nana’s Italian Ricotta Pie
Nana’s Ricotta Filling
1 1/2 pounds of ricotta cheese1 tablespoon flour (heaping if using the 2 lbs)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup vanilla sugar**
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (decorating)
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Combine the ricotta and flour in a small bowl. In a medium size bowl beat the eggs well.
Add the sugar and vanilla gradually and continue beating until smooth. Now add the ricotta mixture and beat well again. Pour into prepared pie crust.
Sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon over the top of pie and swirl with a sharp knife to make a design. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Enjoy!
Nana’s Cookie Crust
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup vanilla sugar**
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
3 tsp. baking powder
4 cups flour
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix baking powder and flour together and add to creamed mixture along with the milk. Mix and chill for 1 hour.
Cut in half or use as much as you need for the pie crust and save the rest for cookies for snacking!
Pie dough: Rolling between 2 sheets of wax paper is neat and quick, no need to flour anything! Place into 9 inch pie plate and fill with ricotta filling.
**Vanilla Sugar – 2 cups granulated sugar and 1-2 vanilla beans, split. Using an airtight container, push vanilla bean gently into the sugar. Letting the bean perfume the sugar for several days before using is best.