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Pineapple Ricotta Cheesecake

Authentic and delicious Italian cheesecake made with crushed pineapple and ricotta cheese. Recipe can be doubled to make two pies.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 1 minute
Total Time 2 hours 1 minute
Servings 12
Calories 318kcal
Author Marie

Equipment

  • 8-inch cake pan or 9-inch pie pan

Ingredients

For the Pineapple Ricotta Filling

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half and half
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese drained well, using fine mesh strainer
  • 16 ounces crushed pineapple drained well, using fine mesh strainer (note that I get 16 ounces when I drain a 20 ounce can of pineapple)

For the Pie Crust

  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg , can use another egg if dough seems too dry
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon from one small lemon
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

For Decorating the Pie (optional)

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Instructions

To Make the Pie Crust

  • In a large bowl, add the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, and cubed butter. Using your hands, incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse sand. May also use a food processor.
  • In another bowl, lightly whisk the egg(s) and then pour into the dry sandlike mixture and stir until all of the egg has been incorporated.
  • Press down and form a dough, knead a few times until there are no dry bits remaining. Form a flat disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap or place into an air tight plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. I like to roll out the dough a little after it is in the bag to facilitate the rolling after it has been chilled.

To Make the Pie Filling

  • Beat the eggs, sugar, and cream until blended.
  • Add vanilla and cornstarch and mix until combined.
  • Add ricotta and blend very well.
  • Fold in the pineapple and slowly mix until incorporated. Or alternatively, you can leave out the pineapple and just add it as a first layer on the bottom of the pan.

To Build the Pie

  • Grease an 8-inch cake pan or 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray or butter.
  • Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and roll out into a circle that is about 12 inches in width, using plenty of flour to coat the countertop and top of the pie crust. Add more flour and flip the crust at least one or twice as you are rolling it out. I find a bench knife or scraper helps me to lift the crust when I want to flip it. See link in notes section for more tips.
  • You may want to trim the outer edges to make a neat circle using a pizza cutter or knife. It may help to drape the pie crust over the rolling pin when you are transferring it to your baking pan.
  • Line the baking pan with the pie crust and form a decorate edge if desired. See notes for link on decorative edges. Place crust into the refrigerator while you warm up the oven.

To Fill and Bake the Pie

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees (you will later reduce temperature to finalize baking). Place one rack on second to lowest position and another in middle of oven.
  • Remove pie crust from refrigerator and pour in the prepared filling.
  • Filling should be at least ¼ inch or so below the top of the pie crust.
  • I used tin foil to protect the edges of the pie from burning.
  • Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 50 to 60 minutes. (For the first 30 minutes of baking, bake on lower rack and then move to middle rack for remaining back time.) Total baking time is approximately 95 minutes.
  • The pie will puff up a bit but still be a little jiggly but not overly so.
  • I let the pie cool in the oven with the door ajar for about 20 minutes (oven is turned OFF).
  • After the pie has slightly cooled, mix the cinnamon with the sugar and sprinkle top if desired.
  • Store pie in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Notes

Note: I used "Truvia for Baking", which I estimated to lower sugar to 9 grams per slice. 
Tips: 
  • Make your pie crust ahead of time and refrigerate it.
  • Read tips for rolling out pie crusts.
  • Watch how to master decorative edges on your pies (I need practice here)!
  • Make sure to strain your ricotta cheese if necessary (some brands are thicker than others) and also strain the liquid from your crushed pineapple. I use either a colander with small holes or a fine mesh strainer.
  • Do not overfill your pie shell. Make sure the filling is at least ¼ inch lower than the top of your crust.
  • Use aluminum foil to cover your crust or it can overbake (see photo in blog post).
  • Keep an eye on the pie toward the end of the bake time. Check every 5 minutes during the last 10 minutes of baking and extend bake time if needed. The pie is done when it has puffed up slightly but is still a little bit jiggly.

Nutrition

Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 1mg