Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Carmela Soprano's Ricotta - Pineapple Pie (Cheesecake)

I haven't posted a dessert recipe in quite a while.
Well, what with trying to drop the holiday pounds, it didn't seem like a good idea.
But Valentine's Day is coming up.
And what's a Valentine's Day without a dessert?

Carmela's chapter Feeding my Family in Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook has a nice dessert recipe.
Ricotta - Pineapple Pie.

This recipe comes highly recommended by Carmela:
I once made a ricotta pie with pineapple to give to a local professional woman to do me an important favor… She must have really enjoyed it - she came through so nicely.

Yeah… It was the pie that made the woman come through, MRS. SOPRANO.
Like the local professional was clueless about Carmela's hubby Tony.
It's a good recipe.

Ricotta is a soft bland cheese. 
The texture is like a very well blended, smooth cottage cheese.
So, yes, this is a cheesecake recipe.

I've learned a lot from blogging over the past three years.
That I learned from getting snarky about Carmela's New Jersey Cheesecake.
It's a motherhood type of thing.
Maybe because cheese is made with milk.
Milk… Mothers… 
No, don't insult anyone's cheesecake.
Even if it's not as famous as Lindy's Cheesecake.
Or as much a sentimental favourite as the 1960s Co-op Refrigerator Cheesecake.

If you're in a rush - or prefer cherries to pineapples - you can top the cooled cheesecake with canned cherry pie filling.
Or blueberry… or apple pie filling.
Hey, it's your pie.

Prefer a ricotta cheesecake without fruit?
Try Carmela's Ricotta Cheesecake.

Just pick a cheesecake recipe, cook, serve and enjoy.
And keep your opinions on cheesecake recipes to yourself.
Trust me.

                        Ricotta - Pineapple Pie

Serves 8
Preheat the oven to 350ยบ

Spread over the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan (or a springform pan)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/4 Cup fine graham wafer crumbs
Shake the pan so the crumbs coat the bottom and sides.

In a large bowl combine
1/2 Cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch 
1 15-ounce container of ricotta
2 large eggs
1/2 Cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat until smooth.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake for 50 minutes.
The pie should be set around the edges, with a slightly soft center.
Cool on a wire rack until room temperature.

The Topping

Drain well, but save the syrup
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in syrup

In a medium saucepan combine
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch  
Stir in 
1/2 Cup of the saved pineapple syrup
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Cook, stirring until thickened, about 1 minute.
the drained pineapple
Remove from heat and let cool.

Spread the pineapple mixture over the pie.
Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Would I make Ricotta - Pineapple Pie again?
I like it better than Carmela's New Jersey Cheesecake.
Oh, Lord… Why did I say that?

One recipe down.  Forty-two more to go. 

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