Did You Know? The pineapple is not a single fruit, but a cluster of 100-200 tiny fruitlets.
Every Christmas my Dad brings home really tasty desserts from the North End, and usually a ricotta pie from Modern Pastry is on the list. Sweet and creamy, and much lighter than a cheesecake, it is soooo good. Modern fills theirs with a chocolate ganache center, but I think I like it better without. If you've never had a ricotta pie from Modern, get one! Just google it for the piles of rave reviews you'll find about their beloved pie. That is if you're not in the mood for baking up your own, because this recipe couldn't be easier, thanks to Susan over at Food Blogga.
The ricotta provides a somewhat grainy texture, which I love. And being someone who hates cheesecake, this pie is not like its thick cousin involving cream cheese. It's sort of like cannoli filling made into a pie - could anything be better than that?
The pineapple really sent this recipe over the top. It's sweet, but not too sweet, and the shreds of crushed pineapple really work well with the smooth ricotta. When I made this, I halved the original recipe (which was for two pies), but I forgot to halve the pineapple. I think it tasted perfect with the full 20 ounces of pineapple, but feel free to use 10 ounces if you like.
Pate Brisee (this pate brisee is for a double crust pie, this pie recipe only has a bottom crust, so halve the pate brisee recipe, freeze half of the full recipe, or make two ricotta pies!)
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 (20-ounce) can of crushed pineapple (drained)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (dusted on top of pie)
For the filling, place the pineapple in strainer set over a bowl for at least 1-1/2 hours, or preferably overnight. Discard the liquids. This will create a thicker pie filling and keep the crust crispier.
Add the ricotta to a large mixing bowl, and beat it smooth with an electric mixer. Beat in the heavy cream, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure the texture is smooth. Finally, stir in the pineapple.
Preheat your oven to 425, with a rack set in the lower third of the oven.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 10-inch circle. Place the dough round in a pie plate, and freeze for 15 minutes.
After the fifteen minutes has passed, remove the pie plate from the freezer, and pour the filling right to the top of the pie plate leaving just a bit of room for the filling to puff up. Sprinkle the top of the pie with ground cinnamon. If you have some extra filling left over, as I did, you can pour it into a ramekin for a crustless version, and follow the same baking instructions.
Bake the pie at 425 for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake another 30 minutes. The filling should be slightly puffed, golden, and set, not jiggly. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled.