This Ricotta Cherry Crumb Pie is a delicious alternative to using up some summer cherries. It makes the perfect dessert, fancy it up by serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The simple reason I decided to make this pie is because I opened the fridge and discovered an almost expired container of ricotta and a whole lot of cherries. So why not make a Cherry Pie?!
How to make the Pie Crust
Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, mixer or large bowl, whisk them together then add the butter and egg, pulse, beat or stir with a fork to combine.
Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and gently knead into a smooth ball and chill.
Make the crumb topping and remove the pits from the cherries and slice in half.
In a large bowl beat until smooth the ricotta, vanilla, egg, sugar and cream.
Fold in the cherries and mix until combined.
Remove the dough from fridge and knead the dough a couple of times to soften it up, place the dough on a floured flat surface. Roll out to 1/8″ thick circle. Be sure to lightly flour the rolling pin also.
Transfer the dough circle to the prepared pie plate, trim the dish of any extra dough. Prick the dough with the tongs of a fork, top with the Ricotta cream mixture.
Sprinkle with the crumb topping and bake. Let cool before serving.
How to pit cherries
There are two easy ways to remove the pits, one is with a straw, a stainless steel straw is the best use, or a pit remover that is made for the job. That’s what I use and it works perfectly.
What is the best pie crust to use
I used a simple Italian Pastry dough (recipe included) although you could use a simple Homemade Pie Dough or this tasty Brown Sugar Pie Crust, but if you are looking to make it as quick as possible a store-bought crust will work also.
What are the ingredients in Italian Pastry Dough?
Italian Pastry Dough consists of flour, sugar, baking powder, butter (usually room temperature) and an egg and an egg yolk. The egg makes the dough even flakier.
What to do with extra pie dough
Any extra pie dough can be frozen in a freezer safe bag or container, it will keep for up to 6 months. You can roll it out and make cut out cookies, cut strips sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake until golden, or cut out round circles place a teaspoon of jam, Nutella or chocolate cream on one side, fold over the other half and bake until golden.
What is Ricotta cheese?
Ricotta cheese is made from leftover whey from other cheeses, it can be from cow, goat, sheep or Italian Buffalo. Sometimes an acidifier is added. Ricotta meaning recooked is just that, the recooking of the whey. Since it is not produced from curd, but from whey, ricotta cannot be considered a real cheese. The term ricotta can also mean the fresh one.
Fresh ricotta is placed in the typical cone shaped perforated container, where it is left to drain. It is usually a white colour, of course how white depends on the type of milk that is used. It is soft and slightly grainy but is not elastic or hard. Fresh ricotta has the smell of warm milk and hay, although the aroma of hay will be more intense in ricotta that is made from sheep or buffalo milk.
Most if not all the regions of Italy make their own ricotta but the most popular comes from Lazio, Abruzzo, Basilicata, Sicilia, Sardegna, Campania, Puglia, Calabria, Toscana, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lombardia e Piemonte. When you are purchasing ricotta for this recipe look for a creamy whole milk ricotta, extra smooth which is apparently for desserts. If you find it extremely watery then drain in a sieve for about 30 minutes.
Are Cherries healthy?
Cherries are full of antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, nutrients, and fibre. These can all help support a healthy system and they may also reduce the risk of certain types of cancers.
The best way to tell is by the smell and appearance. If it has turned yellow or has an off odour or flavour, or if any mould appears it should be thrown away.
Any leftovers should be covered in plastic and refrigerated. It will keep for up to 2-3 days in the fridge.
Cool the crostata completely, then wrap it in plastic wrap, then again in foil. Place in a freezer safe bag or container and freeze. It will last up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator.
More delicious Crumb Recipes
I hope if you have any extra cherries you will use them to make this tasty Ricotta Cherry Crumb Pie, and of course let me know how it goes if you do. Enjoy!
Ricotta Cherry Crumb Pie
FOR THE PIE CRUST
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons flour (all purpose) (114 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon butter (room temperature)
- ½ cup all purpose flour (65 grams)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
CHERRY RICOTTA FILLING
- 1 cup ricotta cheese* (250 grams)
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- 1½ tablespoons whole/heavy/whipping cream
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1¾ cups cherries (about 38) (200 grams)
- Place the flour, sugar, baking powder & salt, in the bowl of the food processor, stand up mixer or large bowl, whisk them together then add the butter and egg, pulse to combine, beat (with flat beater) or combine by hand.
- Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and gently knead into a smooth ball, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.
WHILE THE DOUGH IS CHILLING
- Make the crumb topping, in a medium bowl mix together the flour and brown sugar, cut in the butter until coarse crumbs form. Set aside. Rinse the cherries, remove the pits and slice in half.
- In a large bowl beat until smooth the ricotta, vanilla, egg, sugar and cream, fold in the cherries.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C).
- Remove the dough from the fridge and knead a couple of times to soften it up, place the dough on a floured flat surface. Roll out to 1/8″ thick circle. Be sure to lightly flour the rolling pin also.
- Transfer the circle to a lightly floured & greased 8 or 9 inch (20 or 22 cm) pie plate, trim the dish of any extra dough. Prick the dough with the tongs of a fork, top with the Ricotta cream mixture. Sprinkle with the crumb topping and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes. Let cool before serving. Dust with powdered sugar or serve with a scoop of ice cream if desired. Enjoy!