I just finished baking Pizza di Pasqua al formaggio for Easter Supper. My recipe comes from my Umbrian Nonna and is vague at best. My brother and I have tried to formalize things in the recipe like "enough flour" and "cook in the usual way until done", in the hopes that we can carry on this great Easter tradition. Neither my brother nor I are bakers so the recipe continues to need work. I would gladly appreciate any advice.
PIZZA DI PASQUA DI FORMAGGIO
1/2 lb Pecorino half grated, half cut into 1/4" cubes
1/2 lb of Parmigiano half grated, half cut into 1/4" cubes
6-8 cups flour
6 egs (room temp)
3 packets of yeast
6 Tbs Olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup warm water if needed to ensure dough is soft enough
1/4 lb prosciutto cut into small cubs
2 tbs of Rosemary finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
egg for glazing
Form a circle of flour (grated pecorino and salt/pepper may be mixed into flour as a first step) and drop in eggs one by one; add yeast, and pour onto batter. Start kneading dough, adding oil. Knead dough 8 to 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface adding water as necessary. Dough should be soft but not sticky. Place in bowl, cover well with moist cloth and place in unheated oven to leaven for 2 hours. After 2 hours turn dough into greased tall pan and allow to rise for another 40 minutes. Glaze surface with beaten egg, and place in 400F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce to 350F for another 45 minutes.
Suggestions: Use greased parchment paper to line the interior (bottom and sides) of the pan to avoid the Pizza sticking.
I just took it out of the over and it smells and looks great. I guess I'll find out on Sunday if it is yummy. Last year it was a tad bit dry...
You can order a traditional grain pie from Veniero's Pastry Shop in NYC - they deliver nationally, www.venierospastry.com
Here's a very old recipe for a different dessert, Easter Tart (Pastiera di Pasqua), which serves 12:
1 1/2 cups pearl tapioca, 2 cups hot milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 1/4 pounds ricotta, 2 cups sugar,
6 egg yolks, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel, 1/2 cup candied citron and candied orange peel, diced fine, 4 egg whites, beaten stiff but not dry,
1 recipe pasta frolla (see below), 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar.
Soak tapioca in water night before baking tart. After soaking overnight, boil in water 15 minutes and drain. Add hot milk, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and half the lemon peel, and simmer until milk has completely evaporated. Remove from heat and cool.
Place ricotta in bowl and stir until very smooth. Add sugar and egg yolks, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add cinnamon, candied citron and candied orange peel, the rest of the lemon peel, and last the cooked tapioca. Mix together and blend in egg whites.
Divide pasta frolla into 2 parts, one larger than other, and roll the larger piece to 1/2" thickness. Butter and flour a 10" cheese cake spring pan and line bottome and sides with rolled-out piece of pastry, trimming edges. Pour in ricotta filling. Roll out smaller piece of pasta frolla and cut into 1" strips. Place strips criss-cross over cheese filling, trimming edges neatly. Bake cake in moderate oven (375 degrees) for 45 minutes. Let cool in pan. when cool, push up bottom of spring pan, transfer tart to serving dish and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
Pasta frolla (pastry dough
)2 cups sifted pastry flour, 1 cup sugar, small pinch salt, 1/2 cup butter at room temp, 2 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Make a well of dry ingredients on pastry board and place butter, eggs, lemon rind in well and work dough quickly. Do not add water. When smooth, shape into ball and chill 30 minutes.