Monday, May 17, 2010

GET YOUR DAIRY ON

Pizza Rustica is a traditional Italian savory pie. The name means “rustic pie”. Traditionally served cold-this delicious pie is perfect for Shavuot or any time you want a light lunch or dinner. Plan to make the pie one day ahead to allow plenty of time to chill the pie completely.

4 large egg yolks and 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
2 pounds whole milk ricotta (look for deli style-hand packed. It is rich, dense and slightly sweet)
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup chopped sundried tomatoes
½ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 recipe pastry dough (recipe follows)
Egg wash: 1 egg lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water
Directions:
1. Position a rack on the bottom third of the oven, and preheat to 375 F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, ricotta and Parmesan cheese, mixing well. Add the mozzarella cubes
3. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge. If it is too hard to roll, let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. Roll out the larger piece of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 16-17 inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9 or 10-inch spring form pan. Gently press the dough to fit the inside of the pan and the sides. Trim the overhanging dough to about 1-inch. Save the scraps for patching up any holes.
4. Spoon the filling into the dough-lined spring form pan.
5. Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a 12-inch round. Place the dough over the filling. Pinch the edges together to seal, and fold the edges of the dough inward and crimp with your fingers or the tines of a fork. Brush the egg wash over the entire pastry top, and cut several slits in the top to let the steam escape.
6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the pie comes out clean and the crust is golden brown, about 60-75 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack. Let pie cool for at least 20-30 minutes before refrigerating until chilled all the way through.
8. Release the pan sides and transfer pie to a platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

Dough for Pizza Rustica
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
2 sticks (1 cup) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
4 large eggs, beaten lightly
Directions:
1. Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, pepper and zest together in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times.
2. Add the cold pieces of butter into the flour mixture and pulse until the butter is broken down and the mixture resembles a coarse, sandy meal.
3. Drizzle in about half of the beaten eggs and pulse several times until the dough holds together when pinched. Process a few more seconds, until the dough forms into one big clump. The dough should be smooth and soft, but not sticky. If it looks crumbly or dry, add a few drops of water or cream. If it’s sticky, add a tablespoon or two more flour.
4. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into two disks, one about 1/3 larger than the other. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

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