June 26, 2017

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Recipes > Pizza Rustica

PIZZA RUSTICA

by Fran Claro

When I was growing up, preparations for Easter brought us all together around the kitchen table for the assembly of what we called pizza chiena, or “full pie” (now served in restaurants as Pizza Rustica).

My grandmother cut the pie on Holy Saturday afternoon—the official end of Lent. I would be dispatched to bring slices to uncles, aunts, and friends; no one lived more than three blocks away. I returned clutching a cache of slices from uncles, aunts, and friends. Then the critique of the other pies began: This pie is too salty. That pie is too sweet. This crust is too thick. That crust is too thin. The verdict: Our pie is best.

Herewith a recipe for the “best pie,” or Pizza Rustica.

PIZZA RUSTICA

Crust:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sticks ice-cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
  1. Combine flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or an electric mixer at low speed to work butter into flour mixture, and form coarse crumbs.
  2. Gradually add enough water to form a dough that just sticks together. Wrap dough in waxed paper and refrigerate while preparing filling.

PIZZA RUSTICA FILLING

(All meats and cheeses should be thickly sliced and diced into 1/2 inch cubes.)

  • 1/4 pound prosciutto
  • 1/4 pound Genoa salami
  • 1/2 pound soppresatta salami
  • 1/4 pound Sicilian salami
  • 1/2 pound conventional mozzarella, or scamorza
  • 1/4 pound fontina cheese
  • 1/4 pound asiago cheese
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta, drained well
  • 6 eggs
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

For Glaze

  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, combine all meats and hard cheeses; set aside. In another bowl, beat together ricotta, eggs, and black pepper; set aside.
  2. Divide dough in two, with one piece slightly larger than the other. On a lightly floured board, roll out larger piece of dough, and gently fit it into a 9 x 12 (approximately) nonreactive casserole dish; leave an overhang of an inch or two of dough. Roll out second piece of dough to fit over top; set aside.
  3. Pour combined meats and cheeses into pastry-lined dish; pour ricotta-egg mixture over the filling.
  4. Moisten the edge of the bottom crust with water. Add top crust. Roll edges of top and bottom crust together; flute edges.
  5. Brush top crust with egg/milk glaze. Cut a circle in top crust to allow steam to escape.
  6. Place casserole on baking sheet. Bake for 75 minutes or until the tip of a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Place on cooling rack; allow to come to room temperature before slicing. Serve at room temperature or cold. Refrigerate any leftovers.

About the Author

Fran Claro is a cook and contributing writer to Food & Crafts. She lives in Irvington, New York where she dreams up Italian feasts for her extended family.