“WHEN YOU DIE, IF YOU GET A CHOICE BETWEEN GOING TO REGULAR HEAVEN OR PIE HEAVEN, CHOOSE PIE HEAVEN. IT MIGHT BE A TRICK, BUT IF IT’S NOT, MMMMMMMM, BOY.” Jack Handy.
You are going to pie heaven. This week!
The Theme Weavers are a group of creative, culinary whizzes. Every month a theme is chosen and we celebrate it all week long.
This month’s theme is PIE! And what a selection we have this week. Somebody pinch me!
I’m going to help kick off the week with my American holiday version of an Italian ricotta pie. Sweet cherry preserves mingle with cranberries and layer a sweet pastry crust which is then filled with light and luscious amaretto and orange scented ricotta!
And if that’s not enough, we have 18 other selections. Do you want me to pinch you, too???
I find myself with a growing interest in Italian baking. I know that ricotta pie is a traditional Easter treat. So I decided to adapt it for a winter holiday table.
Sometimes for me, especially in baking, cranberries can be a little too tart. And I just love combining them with cherries for a more sweet/tart combination.
Serves: 8-10 pie lovers!
Level of difficulty: very easy…..the dough comes together in your food processor and the filling is whisked by hand!
SWEET PASTRY CRUST:
- 2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/3 of a cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 of a teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt
- 1 stick of cold butter, cut into cubes
- 2 large eggs, beaten
You will need a 9 inch, deep dish pie pan or dish for this recipe.
Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the working bowl of your food processor fitted with your dough blade. Pulse this a few times to combine these ingredients. Add your butter next, and again, pulse in short spurts until the flour mix now resembles course sand. Add the beaten eggs and process on low until the dough forms a ball . You will now wrap the dough in plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes. You will need only 2/3 of the dough for the bottom crust and the other 1/3 for a top crust or for decorations for the top of your pie. So I separated the dough before wrapping and chilling. I think it’s prettier to cut out some dough pieces and decorate the sides or the top of the pie. You could use leaves and trim the edge. I chose flowers and filled the centers with a dot of cranberry cherry mix once the pie has cooled.
While the dough is chilling, prepare the ricotta filling.
- 2 cups of whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/3 of a cup of granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 Tablespoon of Amaretto
- 1 teaspoon of freshly grated orange zest
Simply put these ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together by hand until the mixture is smooth.
CRANBERRY CHERRY FILLING:
- a heaping 1/2 of a cup of cherry preserves
- a heaping 1/2 of a cup of whole cranberry sauce
Mix both of these together in a bowl.
When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F. Take out the larger piece of dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a roughly 10 inch circle. Fit it into your pie plate and trim the edges. Spread 1 cup of the cranberry cherry mix onto the bottom of the pie crust. (Reserve as much as you think you will need if you are going to use it to decorate the top of your pie. (The dots on the top of my pie were about 1 Tablespoon.) Pour the ricotta mixture over the cranberry mix and smooth out the top.
Roll out the second, smaller piece of dough. Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes and line them on top of your pie as you wish. Brush with a little eggwash (1 egg beaten with a splash of water.) Bake for 45-50 minutes until the crust is golden and the ricotta filling looks slightly puffed. Allow to cool on a baking rack before adding any jam as garnish to the top. I suggest refrigerating overnight before cutting and serving.
I talk often in my posts, about the vintage bakeware and kitchenware that I love to collect. The vintage Ovenex pie pan I used for this pie, I found at my local thrift store. But one of the things I love to collect are pie and cake servers. This one caught my eye because it was old and rustic, and unique.
I purchased this from Janasattic on Etsy. I knew I would love her store when I read, “My heart belongs to all things old and with a history. I love browsing through antique stores and imagining what these things were like when they were new, to whom they did belong and I wish they could tell me the story behind it.”
Her service was great, super friendly, and I highly recommend her. And I can’t wait to shop there again!
After all…..I’m going to need more pie servers to serve up the rest of these luscious pies!
Kirsten / Comfortably Domestic – Mile High Apple Pie
Katie / The Hill Country Cook – New Mexico Apple Pie
Haley / The Girlie Girl Cooks – Coconut Cream Pie
Jeanne / Inside NanaBread’s Head – Black and White Coconut Tart
Mads / La Petite Pancake – Pineapple Pie
Monica / The Grommom – Papaya Pie
Carrie / Bakeaholic Mama – Chocolate Cream Pie
Kat / Tenaciously Yours – Grandma’s Chocolate Pie
Kirsten / Comfortably Domestic – Maple Sweet Potato Pie with Toasted Swiss Meringue
Shanna / Pineapple Coconut – Boozy Pumpkin Egg Nog Pie
Carrie / Bakeaholic Mama – Sweet Potato Tartlets
Christina / Buffy and George – Deep Dish Apple Pie
Madeline / Munchin in the Mitten – Sweet Potato Pie
Allison / Decadent Philistines – Refrigerator Pumpkin Porter Chocolate Pie with Toasted Pumpkin Marshmallow “Meringue”
Lauren / Climbing Grier Mountain – Mini Butternut Squash Pie Stacks with Marshmallow Frosting
Megan / Country Cleaver – Biscoff Pie with Whiskey Mallow Fluff
Shanna / Pineapple Coconut – Persimmon, Pear and Brandy Pie with Vanilla Bean Crumble
Kirsten / Comfortably Domestic – Very Berry Cherry Pie
Pie heaven indeed! I hope one of these will grace your holiday tables this year! Enjoy!