Recipe: Sweet ricotta pie with hazelnuts and chocolate

: Sweet ricotta pie with hazelnuts and chocolate Torta tal-irkotta ħelwa bil-ġellewż u ċ-ċikkulata: Sweet ricotta pie with hazelnuts and chocolate

Aqra din ir-riċetta bil-Malti: Torta tal-irkotta ħelwa bil-ġellewż u ċ-ċikkulata

Ricotta is a very popular ingredient in Mediterranean sweets. This is a recipe for a sweet pie which is extremely sought after by the Maltese, especially on special occasions such as Christmas, Easter and village feasts.

Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Serves: 12


For the dough:

  • 150 g sifted flour
  • 60 g ground pure almonds
  • 60 g icing sugar
  • 125 g cold, diced butter
  • 1 egg yolk

For the filling:

  • 100 g hazelnuts
  • 500 g ricotta
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 125 ml double cream
  • Grated zest of half an orange
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100 g dark chocolate, broken up in pieces  
  • 100 g candied peel
  • 2 tablespoons of brandy
  • icing sugar, to decorate


  1. To prepare the dough:
  • Place the flour and butter in a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until you reach a consistency which is similar to breadcrumbs.  
  • Add the icing sugar and the ground almonds and mix everything together.  
  • Add the egg yolk and mix it in by hand.
  • When the ingredients have combined, put some flour onto a table and keep kneading the mixture until it becomes smooth.
  • Place the dough into a bag and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  1. In the meantime, heat the oven to a temperature of 180°C.
  2. Spread the hazelnuts on to a tray and roast them for around 10 minutes or until they start to brown. Let them cool down, then place them into a clean napkin and rub them together in order to remove the husks. Pick out the hazelnuts and break them up a little bit. 
  3. Place the ricotta into a bowl and break it up using a fork.
  4. Add the cream and the eggs and blend them into the ricotta properly.
  5. Add the orange zest, the brandy, candied peel, caster sugar and chocolate and mix them together.
  6. Grease a 20cm pie dish, roll out the dough and cover the dish. Put in the filling and smoothen the top.
  7. Bake it for 45-50 minutes or until you can see that the pastry is ready and the filling has set.
  8. Turn off the oven and leave the pie inside it for around an hour so that it can cool down and set.
  9. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

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