Pizza Rustica2018-03-28T16:37:31+00:00

Project Description

Pizza Rustica

Pizza Rustica is a savory meat pie that we make for Easter. Since Easter marks the end of the Lenten season of abstaining from meat, most of our traditional Easter dishes contain meat. At first glance this pie recipe might seem long and involved, but it's actually pretty manageable. Usually to save time, I will chop the meat and cheese the night before and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Wonton soup containers are perfect but you can use whatever you have on hand.  The chopping is an easy and relaxing task that you can do while watching TV. The next day I make sure to remove the Crisco and eggs from the refrigerator about 30-60 minutes in advance to bring them to room temperature. This is especially important for the Crisco so that it becomes soft enough to easily work into your dough. At this point making the dough is the most effort required. The dough itself is very easy and although I use an electric mixer for the eggs and Crisco, it really could be done 100% by hand. The key is to keep additional flour on hand once you go to knead the dough and again when you roll out the dough to form the bottom and top layer of the crust. The amount of flour needed for any dough recipe will always vary as a number of factors from the weather to the temperature of your hands will affect the outcome. For this reason you can easily make half of this recipe even though the dough calls for an uneven number of eggs. To half the recipe, I used 5 eggs and adjusted the flour slightly when it came time to form the dough. It worked like a charm. We usually make one, full-recipe Pizza Rustica in a large glass baking dish either 15x10 or 13x11. Recently I experimented with aluminum pie dishes and the results were wonderful. This recipe will make four 8 inch pies. The difference is that you will cut the dough in eight pieces - four tops and four bottoms which will be slightly larger than the tops. I cooked the 8 inch pies one at a time (because our oven is awful) for 45 minutes each. Always check your pie periodically because like flour amounts, oven temperatures vary greatly.

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1/2 pound boiled ham - 1 whole piece, chopped in small cubes
  • 1/2 pound domestic prosciutto - 1 whole piece, chopped in small cubes
  • 1/2 pound pepperoni - roughly 1 stick, chopped in small cubes
  • 16 ounces fresh basket cheese - sometimes called farmer's cheese - cut in cubes or if the cheese you are using is soft like ricotta you can simply add it as is
  • 6 tablespoons grated cheese - parmigiano or pecorino
  • 12 large eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Crust

  • 9 eggs + 1 additional to use as an egg wash*
  • 5 cups of flour
  • Additional flour for dusting and to add as needed when forming and rolling dough
  • 5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup Crisco, softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions - Bake at 300 degrees 90 minutes

Crust

  1. Put flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat (9) eggs with an electric mixer
  3. Add Crisco to the egg mixture in small pieces or spoons a little at a time until all is well blended using electric mixer
  4. Slowly add flour mixture to egg mixture stirring by hand
  5. Continue to add flour mixture until a sticky batter-like dough begins to form
  6. Wash and dry hands completely
  7. lightly flour your work surface and keep additional flour near by
  8. Turn batter-like dough out onto your work surface and begin to knead very lightly in order to form smooth dough adding flour as needed so that dough is manageable
  9. Once dough is manageable, not sticky cover it lightly with flour and place it in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour

Filling

  1. In a large mixing bowl beat (12) eggs - you can use a fork or whisk for this
  2. Next add the chopped pepperoni, boiled ham and prosciutto and both cheeses
  3. Add black pepper according to your taste and a small pinch of salt - the meats and grated cheese are already salty so be sparing with any additional salt you choose to add
  4. Stir ingredients together until the meats and cheeses are incorporated into the eggs
  5. Refrigerate until you are ready to roll the crust

Assembly - this is the fun part!

Note: If you do not have a rolling pin, I've used a wine bottle and a peanut butter jar in the past. Do not be deterred!

  1. Grease a 13 x 9 glass baking dish
  2. Lightly four your work surface keeping additional flour on hand
  3. Remove egg mixture from refrigerator and set aside
  4. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut into two almost equal parts - one half should be slightly larger
  5. With a rolling pin roll the large half to form a rectangle that will fit the glass dish so that the dough covers and spills ever the sides of the dish
  6. Place the rolled out dough into the greased baking dish so that the sides are covered and a small lip is formed around the edges of the dish
  7. Next roll the top layer of the dough so that it will fit over the baking dish once it is filled with the egg mixture leaving enough dough to pinch the edges to seal
  8. Add the mixture into the baking dish that has the bottom layer of dough in place
  9. Then cover with the second layer of dough and pinch the edges to seal the edges of the dough completely
  10. With kitchen scissors cut about 7 or 8 one inch slits along the top layer of dough
  11. *Next beat the additional egg and using your fingers or a kitchen brush paint the egg along the top of the dough - this gives it a beautiful shine when done baking
  12. Bake at 300 degrees for about 90 minutes - check periodically as oven temperatures will vary - crust should be golden in color
  13. Alternatively you can make four 8 inch pies instead of one large pie

Check out the post Impressing Your Guests With Easter Pizza Rustica for more about this tasty pie!