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Somebody's Mom: Easter Pie

Easter pie anyone?

Want to celebrate Easter with a luscious slice of pie that just happens to be of Italian origin?

I hope so, because I bet you’re going to love this delicacy for Easter or any holiday! Easter Pie is a heavy dish—great for brunch or early dinner—but not the best choice for a late night snack. Men seem to love it even more than women, and you get only one guess as to why.

Yep, because of the meat inside! Women like it because it’s a one dish wonder—translation: easy clean up. Plus, there’s no frying involved.

I just adore this pie. It’s unlike the routine dishes I prepare all the time, and friends and family love it because it is tasty and interesting.

This recipe is made in many different ways in the U.S., just as you’ll find this to be true in the many regions of Italy, the home of the Easter Pie.

I've been researching the different ways this recipe is prepared, and I've found everyone who makes it has their own way of doing it and their own set of extra added ingredients. Every time I make it, I change it by adding different meats, or I just use one meat in the pie, depending on my mood. Some people make Easter bread with similar ingredients instead of the pie.

No matter how you make it, just make it.

I’ve made this pie just a few times in the past. There's never been a problem; the process went smoothly.

Unfortunately, for this article, everything went wrong with the dough. It kept crumbling. I got it together and it fell apart. I was ready to throw it out the window, except for two reasons. I spent a few bucks on the ingredients from an Italian deli, plus I planned on bringing it to dinner at a friend’s house.

When nothing goes right, don’t give up the fight! Improvise, improvise and improvise some more.

I was finally able to lay a solid piece of dough on the bottom of the pan. I achieved this small miracle not by rolling it out, but by picking up the crumbling pieces and patting them down until the entire bottom and half way up the sides were covered.

The top layer was a completely different challenge. No way was I able to roll out one sheet to cover the pie. I had no choice but to make a patchwork quilt of dough, layering the pieces on top and hoping for the best.

Just when I thought I was home free, I never heard the buzzer of the kitchen timer go off—dead batteries anyone? So, I ended up cooking the pie for an extra 15 minutes. Thank goodness I had an instinct that it was taking way too long to cook—much more than 50 minutes. Guess what? It was.

All in all, the pie survived these setbacks, and the end result was, surprisingly, great! It worked out in the end or so it seemed for that day.

Until the next cooking disaster for this mom!

Easter Pie

  • 4 cups flour (all purpose)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 8 tablespoons margarine, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 4 egg yolks, slightly beaten (separated into 3 and 1)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water (if needed)
  • 13 eggs, (separated into 12 and 1)
  • 2 cups basket cheese or whole milk ricotta
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 pound provolone cheese, diced
  • 1/2 pound Genova salami, diced
  • 1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  1. In a large bowl, sift flour and sugar together. Cut in margarine and butter with a pastry cutter or fork. Blend until mixture is crumbly. Stir in 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg until just mixed. (If dough is too crumbly, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time to bring the dough together.) Mold into a ball, and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch baking dish. Divide the dough into two parts, one a little larger than the other. Roll out the larger part on a floured board or table. Fold the dough into a square to lift it off the table and transfer it to the baking dish. Gently unfold the dough to fit the bottom and partway up the sides of the baking dish.
  4. In another bowl, stir together the 12 eggs, slightly beatened, with the ricotta, mozzarella, provolone, salami, Romano cheese and parsley. Pour into the bottom crust of the baking dish.
  5. Roll out the remaining dough to form the top crust. Gently press the top dough to meet the edges and seal well.
  6. Mix 1 egg yolk with milk and brush top of dough before putting into oven.
  7. Bake 50 minutes or until the crust is golden. After baking, let it settle for 20 minutes or longer before slicing.
  8. ENJOY—This is no pie; this is a meal!

Mariann Raftery, creator of Somebody's Mom blog, cooks up comfort food recipes for families here at home, as well as sending homemade cookie care packages to our American soldiers overseas. Somebody's Mom Cooking videos at  http://www.youtube.com, search "Thesomebodysmom".

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