Go Back

Cherry Ale Ricotta Crostata

Servings 6 servings



  • 1 ½ cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) sugar
  • ½ cup (114g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ¼ cup (48g) ice-cold beer (pale ale, Saison, wheat beer)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sanding sugar or granulated sugar (optional)


  • 3 cups (24oz) whole milk pasteurized is fine but do not use Ultra-Pasteurized, it won’t work
  • ½ cup (4oz) heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (2oz) beer* Plus 2 tablespoons divided
  • 3 tablespoons (36g) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • ¾ lbs (12oz) pitted fresh dark sweet cherries (such as Bing, Jubilee, Chinook)
  • 1 tablespoons (12g) lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


Make the crust:

  • Add ¾ cup of flour (reserve the other 3/4 cup), salt and sugar to a food processor, pulse to combine. Add the butter, process until well combined.
  • Add the remaining flour and pulse 6-8 times or until all the flour has been combined.
  • Add the beer, pulse until just combined. Lay a long sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface, add the dough to the center.
  • Form into a flat disk. Wrap disk tightly in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, about 3 hours, and up to three days.

Make the ricotta:

  • In a pot over medium-high heat (do not use an aluminum pan) add the milk, cream, salt, and 1/3 cup beer.
  • Clip a cooking thermometer onto the side of the pan.
  • Bring the liquid to 190°F degrees, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from scorching. Keep a close eye on it, the liquid reaches and passes 190 very quickly and you don’t want it rising above 200°F.
  • Remove from heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons beer and then the lemon juice, and stir gently once or twice. It should curdle immediately. Allow sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes.
  • Line a large strainer with 1 or 2 layers of cheesecloth; place the strainer in the sink over a large bowl.
  • Pour the ricotta into the strainer and allow to drain for 15 to 30 minutes and up to an hour (the longer it drains, the firmer the consistency).
  • Place in an air-tight container, Stir in the sugar and vanilla extract, and store in the fridge can be made up to 3 days in advance.

Prep the cherries:

  • Add the cherries, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and cornstarch to a large bowl, toss to coat.

Assemble to Crostata:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • On a well-floured surface roll the crust out into a large circle. Add the crust to a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. In the center add the ricotta, leaving about 3 inches on the edges bare. Top with cherries in a large pile. Fold the edges of the crust up over the filling.
  • Brush the edges with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.


*Any beer will work for the ricotta, but the ricotta will take on the flavor of the beer. A more intense beer will bring a more intense flavor. If you want a more mellow beer flavor use a Hefeweizen, Pilsner, or pale lager. I used Firestone Walker's Cherry Barrel Blossom barrel-aged ale.