Pizza Rustica for Easter

Pizza Rustica - Easter Pie with Smooth Ricotta and Italian Meats

Why only stick to the traditions you know? Holidays are a fabulous excuse to discover new ones. This Easter I  experimented with Pizza Rustica. A true family dish that seems to have endless variations. I combined bits of inspiration from about four different recipes. Therefore, you should consider the below recipe as no more than a guideline.  Especially the pastry seems to come in many different forms: from pizza dough to thin layers of flaky pastry.

As you serve this pie at room temperature it would also make for a great picnic dish.

Ingredients
Crust
280g (2 cups) flour
30g (¼ cup) sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
120g (1/2 cup) cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 large eggs

Filling
8 eggs
900g (2 lb) ricotta
220g (8 oz) mozzarella
80g (1 cup) parmesan and/or pecorino
100g  (3,5 oz) Salami (one or two different types)
80g (3 Oz) Prosciutto
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley
1/4-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp salt

Recipe
Crust

  1. Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a food processor and pulse to mix.
  2. Cut the butter into cubes and evenly distribute over the flour.
  3. Pulse again until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Add the eggs and continue to pulse until dough forms a ball.
  5. Remove dough and divide into two pieces – one of them a little larger than the other. Shape two disc and separately wrap in cling film.
  6. Chill for at least half an hour (or up to over night).

Filling

  1. Into a large bowl, break 3 eggs and beat thoroughly.
  2. Add the ricotta and stir to incorporate thoroughly.
  3. Cube the mozzarella. Grate the parmesan. Cube the meat. Chop parsley.
  4. Add all the ingredients to the ricotta.
  5. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir again to incorporate.
  6. Refrigerate the filling until you are ready to assemble the pie (you can prepare the filling the day before).

Assemble 

  1. When you are ready to make the pie. Heat the oven 190C (375F).
  2. Prepare a round cake tin by lining the base with baking paper.
  3. Roll out the larger disc of dough first. Place in the cake tin. Allow the edges to hang over the side.
  4. Spoon in filling and smooth the surface. Using a table spoon make four evenly spaced indentations.
  5. Break the eggs into the indentations.
  6. Fold the overlapping edges towards the center.
  7. Roll out the second disc. Cut the pastry the size of the cake tin and use it to cover the pie. Press the edges together (you can use a fork).
  8. Cut the leftover pastry into leaves and decorate the pie.
  9. Cut a cross into the center of the pie as a vent.
  10. Lightly beat the last egg and brush onto the pie.
  11. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 50-80 minutes. Check the pie after about 30 minutes. If it is browning too fast, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  12. To check if the pie is done insert a knife into the air vent. It should come out clean.
  13. Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Remove the ring of the cake tin.
    Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

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