Chef John's Ricotta Pie


You would certainly be well within your rights to call this ricotta pie a cheesecake, except then your guests would be expecting cheesecake, and that might cause some problems. That's why this lighter, less-sweet variation on cheesecake is called a ricotta pie.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 40 mins
1 pie



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup cold butter, cut into chunks

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tablespoons Marsala wine

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar (Optional)

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt

  • 2 tablespoons ice water, or as needed (Optional)


  • 3 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese

  • 4 large eggs

  • cup white sugar (Optional)

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest, or more to taste

  • ½ teaspoon orange zest, or more to taste (Optional)

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips (Optional)

  • 2 tablespoons diced candied orange peel (Optional)

  • ¼ cup white sugar (Optional)

  • ¼ cup water (Optional)

  • ¼ cup chopped orange zest, or to taste (Optional)

  • ¼ cup crushed pistachios, or to taste (Optional)


  1. Pulse flour, cold butter, 1 egg, Marsala wine, 1 tablespoon white sugar, baking powder, and fine salt together in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse briefly until dough just comes together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press into a disc; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

  3. Roll chilled dough out enough to line a 9-inch pie plate. Trim and crimp edges of dough; prick base of the dough all over with a fork. Line dough with parchment paper and pour baking weights into parchment.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven until crust is set, about 15 minutes. Remove weights when cool enough to handle and let crust cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  5. Whisk ricotta cheese, 4 eggs, 1/3 cup white sugar, egg yolks, vanilla extract, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, and salt together in a bowl until filling is smooth and creamy. Pour filled into cooled pie crust. Sprinkle chocolate chips and candied orange peel over the top and light press chocolate and orange into filling with the tip of a knife.

  6. Bake in the oven until pie is just set, about 45 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Cool pie completely and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

  7. Stir 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water together in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer, remove from heat, and cool. Toss chopped orange zest with cooled sugar mixture.

  8. Cut cooled pie into slices and top each with pistachios and chopped orange zest.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

394 Calories
19g Fat
48g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 394
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 198mg 66%
Sodium 299mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 5mg 24%
Calcium 75mg 6%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 147mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.