Easter pie, a double-crust “stuffed pizza,” is traditionally eaten in Italian households the day before Easter. Step-by-step photos illustrating how to make Easter pie are available at Bakers’ Banter, our King Arthur blog.
5 cups (20 ounces) Mellow Pastry Blend OR 4 3/4 cups (20 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) sugar
5 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Easy-Roll Dough Improver (optional, but very helpful)
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) olive oil
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) warm water
*You may also use 5 cups (19 ounces) Italian flour in place of the pastry blend or all-purpose flour; reduce the water to 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (9 ounces).
1 dozen large eggs
1 pound good-quality, tasty ham
about 6 ounces ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated (1 1/2 ounces) Parmesan
salt, pepper, and chopped fresh parsley, to taste
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) sugar
Dough: Mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients–by hand, in a mixer, or in a bread machine–till you’ve made a soft, smooth dough. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for 1 to 2 hours, till it’s doubled in bulk.
Filling: Hard-boil and then peel 6 of the eggs. Finely chop and combine the boiled eggs and ham; a food processor works well here. The ham and eggs should be very finely chopped, though you don’t want them turned to mush.
Combine the ham and boiled eggs with the raw eggs, ricotta, and Parmesan. Add as much parsley as you want, and season to taste with salt and coarsely ground black pepper.
Assembly and Baking: Divide the dough into four pieces. Roll two of the dough pieces into rounds about 13 inches in diameter, and place them on lightly greased 12-inch pizza pans, cookie sheets, or into two 9-inch pie plates (for a thicker pie). Spread the filling evenly onto the two bottom crusts, covering the crusts to within an inch of their edges. Roll out the other two pieces of dough, and place them atop the filled crusts, gently stretching them, if necessary, till the filling is completely covered. Seal the crust edges together firmly.
Using a sharp knife or pair of scissors, cut a 1-inch hole in the very center of the top crust. Make the topping by whisking together the egg yolk and sugar till the sugar has dissolved. Paint each crust with some of the topping, using a pastry brush or your fingers to spread it around as evenly as possible. Allow the pies to rest while you preheat your oven to 350°F, about 15 minutes. Bake the pies for about 25 minutes (55 to 60 minutes, for a 9-inch deep-dish pie), until they’re a deep, golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and place them on a rack. Allow the pies to cool, and serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers. Yield: Two 12-inch-or-so pies.
Nutrition per serving (1/8th of a pie, 143g): 280 cal, 10g fat, 15g protein, 32g total carbohydrate, 5g sugar, 0g dietary fiber, 190mg cholesterol, 710mg sodium.
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