This Italian Pizza Rustica is a savory pie, with slightly sweet pastry stuffed with a filling of ricotta, eggs, mozzarella, Romano and prosciutto.
Pizza Rustica is a savory Italian Pie encased in a pastry crust. This out of the ordinary pie makes a delicious statement!
Italian Pizza Rustica
Nick Malgieri is one of my baking gurus. I’ve used his tips to perfect my apple pie and cheesecake, so I was delighted to see he was the creator of this week’s Baking with Julia recipe. Nick describes Pizza Rustica as a savory pie…this slightly sweet pastry of his is stuffed with a filling of ricotta, eggs, mozzarella, Romano and prosciutto. Topped with a lattice crust, it is a real work of art!
I made the recipe as directed except for decreasing the sugar in the crust to 1/4 cup. I wish all my pie crusts rolled out this easily…the addition of eggs made it pliable and resilient. It wasn’t cool enough for our dinner last night, so we’ll be diving in tonight…but I did sample the crumbs after cutting a slice to photograph…and I predict we’ll be pleased.
Here is a link on how to weave a lattice crust. I used a fluted pastry cutter and angled one set of pastry strips instead of having both rows perpendicular. Otherwise, I used this method exactly.
For the Dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick (4 oz) cold, unsalted butter or 4 oz cold lard, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
For the filling:
- 1 pound whole milk ricotta
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, shredded
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 freshly ground black pepper
- Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into the work bowl of a food processor, fitted with the metal blade; pulse a few times just to mix the ingredients.
- Add the butter and plus 15 to 20 times, or just until the mixture resembles fine cornmeal. With the machine running, add the eggs and process until the dough forms a ball on the blade, about a minute or so.
- Remove the dough from the processor and knead it, folding it over on itself until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic and set aside. (If you’re not going to make the pizza now, warp the dough well and refrigerate for up to 3 days)
- Scoop the ricotta into a medium bowl and stir until smooth with a rubber spatula. Add the rest of the filling ingredients one at a time, stirring until each addition is incorporated and the mixture is well blended.
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350º, butter a 9-inch glass pie plate. (If you don’t have a glass pie plate, use, metal, but increase the oven temp to 375º)
- Divide the dough into two piece, one twice as large as the other. Working with the larger pieces, knead into a disk and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface into a 12-inch circle.
- Transfer the dough to the pie plate and press gently against the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Don’t worry if the dough tears, just press it back together. Use the dull side of a knife to trim the excess dough even with the rim.
- Scrape the filling into the pic shell and smooth the top.
- Knead and shape the remaining piece of dough into a block and roll into a 9-inch square. Using a pizza or pastry cutter or a thin charm knife, cut the dough into 12 even strips. To form the lattice, lay 6 of the strips across the pie at 1 1/4-inch intervals, then crisscross the strips, paling the remaining strips diagonal across the first. Trim the ends of the strips even with the edge of the pan and pinch to seal.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust in golden and the filling is firm and slightly puffed. Transfer the pie to a rack to cool completely before serving.
- Leftovers can be kept well covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days
Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 510 Total Fat: 31g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 186mg Sodium: 703mg Carbohydrates: 35g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 9g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 21g