Easy Cannoli Pie with Cookie Crumb Crust

Our friend Celia started hosting Thanksgiving Pie Breakfast  a few years ago, and it is quite an event. My husband and a nephew start asking about it midsummer.

Here’s how it works: Guests bring pies and folks take slivers (OK, some take big ol’ pieces) of whatever strikes their fancy (fancies?). Yep, lots of sugar. But a few geniuses (like my sister) bring quiche or an egg casserole, and that balances it all out. Right?

My decision-making speed seems to have slowed to a crawl, which I attribute to a year that has been tough at times (i.e. politics, turning 60). But after combing through cookbooks and Pinterest, I finally decided on Super Easy Gluten-Free Cannoli Pie from www.glutenfreeonashoestring.com.

Of course, I like to play with my food, so I came up with a gluten-loaded cookie crumb crust in an attempt to approximate a cannoli shell. You can use whatever cookies you like. Chocolate would be nice. I also added orange zest to the pie, increased the vanilla and doubled the sugar and chocolate chips; my changes are incorporated in the following recipe. Any leftover filling can be baked crust-free in a greased/sprayed ramekin.

Tip: Use nonstick foil to cover the pie; I lost a bit of the pie top to the regular foil I used.

The orange zest really added a nice flavor; my sister asked if I used Grand Marnier. I would make the filling the same way next time, though I keep thinking about that chocolate crust…


Easy Cannoli Pie with Cookie Crumb Crust


Cookie crust:

2 cups crunchy cookie crumbs (I used about 3/4 cup each of crumbs from amaretti cookies and Trader Joe’s Butter Waffle Cookies and 1/2 cup ginger snaps)

1 stick unsalted butter


16 ounces low-moisture ricotta cheese

8 ounces mascarpone cheese

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

Zest of 2 oranges

1 1/2  tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melted chocolate, for drizzling (optional)


Preheat your oven to 375. Grease a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate or springform pan (or even a simple round 9-inch cake pan with high sides), and set it aside.

To make cookie crust, crush cookies in food processor or place in a baggie, close, and pound with a rolling pin or smooth meat mallet.  Mix crumbs with melted butter and pat into pan and up sides. Place in freezer or fridge to chill for 5 minutes so it firms up. Bake the crust 5 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool briefly while you prepare the filling.

In a food processor or blender or mixing bowl, blend the ricotta cheese, mascarpone, eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt and orange zest until smooth. Add the chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust, and smooth into an even layer.

Place the pie plate or pan in a larger, heat-safe pan such as a roasting pan. Pull out the bottom rack of the preheated oven a bit and place the pan on the rack. Pour lukewarm water into the roasting pan until it reaches about halfway up the sides of the pie plate/pan. Push the rack carefully back into place, close the oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the filling is mostly set. The center should shake in a controlled (not loose) way when shaken gently.

Remove the pie from the water bath and return just the pie to the oven. Turn off the oven and leave the oven door open about 2 inches or wherever it catches. Allow the pie to sit in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool to room temperature. Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired. Chill to firm chocolate, then cover and chill until firm (at least an hour, and up to 3 days).  Serve chilled.

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8 thoughts on “Easy Cannoli Pie with Cookie Crumb Crust”

  1. Kim Foster - December 7, 2016 12:55 pm

    Yum, yum, yum. Nothing else needs to be said.

    1. dskiefer - December 7, 2016 6:27 pm

      That’s what I like to hear!

  2. Michelle - December 7, 2016 6:21 pm

    Sounds fantastic! A pie breakfast is the stuff dreams are made of, hey?

    1. dskiefer - December 7, 2016 6:28 pm


  3. Kathy - December 19, 2016 5:37 pm

    Yum! We are having friends over for Hannukah brunch and I’m making quiche and gotta add this – do I have to get marscapone or could I use more ricotta? Is marscapone hard to find? Also, what about adding some minced maraschino cherries for color?

    Merry Christmas!

    1. dskiefer - December 19, 2016 6:21 pm

      I’ve never had trouble finding mascarpone. It might not be quite as smooth with all ricotta but should taste fine. Or you could substitute neufchatel or cream cheese. I think the cherries fit with the cannoli idea!

  4. Katespitz@aol.com - December 30, 2016 9:28 pm

    The chocolate cookie crust worked extremely well for the cannoli pie. Everyone loved the pie!

    1. dskiefer - December 31, 2016 12:42 am

      I’m so glad! I might try chocolate the next time!


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