This recipe and post are sponsored by Nantucket Looms. Thank you for supporting the brand partnerships that make Fare Isle possible!
Lemon Honey Ricotta Pie - Torta di Ricotta Recipe Origins
The Italian word torta can translate to cake, pie, or tart in English. And then there is also the word crostata which can mean pie or tart in English. I went with calling this delicious lemon-honey version of Italian torta di ricotta, ricotta pie in English because that seems to be the most common translation of similar recipes found online. If you're Italian, please feel free to chime in the comments with any clarifications you may have. By any name you call it, this ricotta pie is absolutely delicious.
The filling is made from a base of ricotta cheese - fresh is best if you can find it - and softened cream cheese. It's similar to a cheesecake but has some texture and bite from the ricotta. This ricotta pie is a perfect dessert to serve at Easter, Mother's Day, or any spring celebration. Garnishing it with soft peaks of whipped cream and fresh berries along with edible flowers and mint leaves gives this dessert a beautiful presentation.
Press play on the video below to watch how to make this ricotta pie from start to finish!
Lemon & Honey
Lemon is a classic flavor for this dessert but using honey as the sweetener is more unusual. Lemon and honey are a classic combination and balance each other out quite well in this ricotta tart. Honey adds a floral note and can range from mild to very strong depending on the variety of honey you use. I would suggest using light-colored and mild-flavored wildflower honey so that it doesn't overpower the dessert. You can always swap out the honey with sugar or do half honey - half sugar for a more mild honey flavor.
The crust is made from Effie's Oatcakes oat biscuits, which are mildly sweet crunchy Scottish style biscuits that are a cross between a cookie and cracker. They are absolutely delicious and made with wholesome ingredients. You can find several varieties of Effie's Oatcakes including their oat biscuits, pecan biscuits and cocoa biscuits, all of which would work well in the recipe, at Nantucket Looms as well.
I love the combination of the crunchy oatcake crust with the sweet creamy ricotta filling of this ricotta pie. If you can't source oatcakes then you can always do a graham cracker crust or a shortbread cookie crust instead. Either of those would also work well in this recipe.
Tips & Tricks for a Perfect Ricotta Pie
- Make sure the filling ingredients are all at room temperature.
- Use a non-stick 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom for easy transfer of the finished tart/pie.
- You'll know the filling is set when you see the edges puff up slightly and the center will still be jiggly.
- Look for good quality ricotta if you can find it for better flavor. It should have only a few ingredients and no preservatives.
- Make sure to refrigerate the baked ricotta pie for at least 2 hours and up to overnight for the best results and to let the filling completely set up. It will be easier to slice and the flavors will come to together the longer it chills.
- Chill the bowl and whisk about 30 minutes before you whip the heavy cream, which will help to whip it quickly and form nice soft peaks.
I'm so happy to be partnering with one of my favorite Nantucket businesses for this post and recipe. Nantucket Looms is a women-owned business in the heart of Nantucket with a focus on handwoven textiles, home design services, and home furnishings. Nantucket Looms has been an island fixture since 1968. Their handwoven textiles are made with attention and care with the finest materials by master weavers right above their charming storefront at 51 Main Street.
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Ricotta Pie (Torta di Ricotta) with Lemon and Honey
- 204 g Effie's Oatcakes oat, pecan or cocoa biscuits 7.2 oz package
- 56 g butter 4 tablespoons, melted
- 50 g granulated sugar ¼ cup
- 226 g ricotta 8 oz., at room temperature
- 113 g cream cheese 4 oz., brick style at room temperature
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 113 g honey 80 ml, ⅓ cup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest from 4 lemons
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream 235 ml
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh berries
- ¼ cup edible flowers
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F (176˚C).
- Place the oatcakes into a plastic food bag, seal it and crush them into coarse crumbs with a rolling pin. Or process them into crumbs in a food processor.
- Transfer the oatcake crumbs to a mixing bowl then add the melted butter and granulated sugar. Mix until evenly combined then transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
- Press the mixture into the tart pan sides and bottom to form the crust.
- Bake the crust on a half sheet pan for easy maneuverability at 350˚F (176˚C) for ten minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and transfer it, still on the sheet pan, to a cooling rack for now. Raise the oven temperature to 375˚F (190˚C).
- Whisk together the ricotta, cream cheese, eggs, honey, kosher salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl, or combine them together in a food processor.
- Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust, still on the half sheet pan, and return it to the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes at 375˚F (190˚C) until the edges of the filling puff up and the center is still jiggly.
- Remove the ricotta pie from the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate it for at least 2 hours or overnight to allow the ricotta pie to set and firm up.
- About 30 minutes before you are ready to serve the ricotta pie, chill a mixing bowl and whisk or whisk attachment(s) for a stand mixer/hand mixer in the freezer or refrigerator. After they are cold whip the heavy cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract to soft peaks.
- Remove the outer ring of the tart pan and leave the tart on the base. Spoon the whipped cream onto the center of the ricotta pie and garnish with fresh berries, mint leaves, edible flowers, a drizzle of honey and lemon zest right before serving.
- Serve right away and enjoy!
- The ricotta pie can be refrigerated for up to 3 days without the whipped cream, berries, and garnishes.
- The decorated pie/tart is best eaten right away. If you anticipate having leftover pie then I would serve the whipped cream, berries and garnishes on the side.
- The honey in the pie filling can be replaced with ⅓ cup of granulated sugar or half honey/half sugar. The flavor of honey can vary greatly depending on the flowers that the bees pollinated at the time, and some varieties can be very strongly flavored so use your own judgment and personal taste when choosing honey to bake with.
- The crust can also be made with graham crackers or shortbread cookies, but adjust the amount of sugar added or eliminate it completely if the cookies are sweet enough on their own.