I saw this recipe on a Thanksgiving-themed Food Network show last weekend and have been dying to give it a try.   A departure from the more traditional pumpkin pie, but I don’t think ANYONE would be complaining if you brought this chocolate-hazelnut-ricotta pie to Thanksgiving dinner.   To be honest, it does require a bit of time and work, but overall the recipe is easy and you have lulls when the pie crust is either in the fridge or the oven.  I’ve included lots of pictures.  And if you have any questions or comments, post away!  ~Cookie Mama

Chocolate Ricotta Pie
(What you’ll need in addition to the ingredients: an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom, a food processor, and one bag of dried beans or pie weights)

Ingredients and tools

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp cornmeal

1 1/2 cups of toasted hazelnuts (tips on toasting nuts here)

1 cup sugar

pinch salt

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/2 cup water

8 oz semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup ricotta cheese

3 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

1 large egg

3 large egg yolks

Blend the flour, cornmeal, 3/4 cup hazelnuts, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt in the food processor until finely ground.

Flour, cornmeal, hazelnuts, sugar and salt in processor

Add the melted (and slightly cooled) butter into the processor and pulse until the dough forms.

Add melted butter
Crumbly dough after processing

Press the dough over the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.   Refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

Press dough into tart pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line the tart dough with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake the tart shell in the lower third of the oven until just set, about 25 minutes.

Aluminum foil and pie weights on top of the tart dough

Carefully remove the foil and pie weights.  (The pie weights will be hot, so be careful)    Continue to bake the dough in the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes longer.  Cool completely.

Combine 3/4 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Cool the sugar syrup slightly.

Combine sugar and water
Sugar is completely dissolved

In a double boiler (a glass bowl over a pot with about 1/3 cup of water), melt the chocolate chips over very softly simmering water.

double boiler
Chips starting to melt
Melted chocolate

Pulse the ricotta cheese and cream cheese in a food processor until smooth.

Ricotta and cream cheese

Add the egg and egg yolks one at a time, processing until smooth after each addition.

Add the egg and egg yoiks one at a time
Process until smooth (use a spatula to scrape the sides occasionally)

Add the melted chocolate and process until combined.  With the machine running, add the sugar syrup in a thin steady stream and process until smooth.

Adding sugar syrup with machine running

Pour custard into the tart shell and bake until the filling is almost set, about 30 minutes or until the custard has set.

Fill the tart shell with the chocolate custard
Baked and cooling

Scatter the remaining 3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts on top of the filling.  Let the tart cool completely before serving.

Chocolate-Ricotta Pie

The chocolate-ricotta pie can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Return to room temperature before serving though.


  • Since I made it so late last night, I wrapped it tightly and put it in the fridge, still in the tart pan. This morning, I took it out and let it come to room temperature (ok not exactly…I was impatient.) I will admit I had a little trouble removing it from the tart pan and a small section on one side crumbled. Then I moved it to a plate that wasn’t completely flat (a regular dinner plate as opposed to a flat serving plate) and when I cut into it, I didn’t get a nice even slice. So if you try this, use a gentle and slow hand removing it from the tart pan then place it on a flat surface to cut. We learn from mistakes, right??

    I thought it was delicious – the hazelnuts and the cornmeal in the crust give it texture, not to mention taste, and the chocolate-ricotta top was smooth and a bit decadent (Lou liked it but it was bordering on too rich for him)

    Sorry, I’m not sure about the springform pan. I will say that the recipe fills an 11″ diameter so make sure your pan is 11″. Your pie won’t have the decorative edging that you get with a tart pan also. I didn’t have the tart pan so I picked one up just last night at Bed Bath and Beyond and with my lovely 20% off coupon, got it for $11. Good luck! Would love to know if you try it…

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