Today in print, I thanked all the guest bloggers for participating in Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. It’s so nice to see people participating… and I loved seeing each blogger’s perspective and personality. I hope that now that we’re back to just one blogger (me!) and the occasional correspondent (Katherine Curry) that you all won’t be disappointed. I’ve definitely seen some competition out there!
I also wrote a story about Pizza Rustica, better known as Easter Pie. Though it’s traditionally served as an antipasto before the main meal, I think it’s a wonderful centerpiece for a do-ahead Easter Brunch. I asked David DiBari at The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry for his recipe, and toned it down so you can replicated it in your own kitchens. Here’s a link to the Easy as Easter Pie story, but I’ll also post it after the jump.
(JN photo by Carucha L. Meuse)
On Saturday, we also had a lovely AP story about the granddaughter of the founders of Grossinger’s — the famed Catskill Mountains resort that she sold in 1985. She’s taken her seder traditions south, and, as the director of hospitality at Forest Trace, a mostly Jewish retirement community in Lauderhill, Fla., is serving it to the seniors there. Here’s a link to the Passover story. Lots of great recipes, too.
Also in print today, there are recipes for ham and lamb and two sides for Easter Sunday dinner, but you’ll have to buy the paper to see those… they came from another newspaper and we did not have the online rights to them. It’s worth the trip to the deli, though!
After the jump, the story and the recipe for David DiBari’s Easter Pie.
As Easy as Easter Pie
The Journal News
Pizza Rustica is such a traditional Italian-American dish to serve on Easter Sunday that it’s more commonly known by another name: Easter Pie.
It’s traditionally served as an antipasto; an hors d’oeuvre before the main meal. But here’s a little secret: this is a recipe that benefits from a rest — a day in the fridge is perfect — and so it’s a natural for an easy, do-ahead Easter Sunday brunch.
Easter Pie is an egg-and-cheese-based dish, sort of like quiche, but it’s also filled with a variety of different dried and cured sausages. After a Lenten season of forgoing meat on Fridays, what a reward!
You can be flexible with the style of sausage, but the ratio of meat should be about equal to the amount of ricotta in the filling. You can also add vegetables, such as asparagus or spinach, and softer herbs, like basil or parsley.
Plenty of bakers and butchers on Arthur Avenue sell Easter Pies ready-to-go, but one of the best around here can be found at The Cookery, David DiBari’s casual Italian restaurant in Dobbs Ferry. DiBari uses a combination of hot sopressata, sweet sopressata and Genoa salami. Luckily, all are easy to find, even at the grocery store.
You can use a pre-made pie crust and simply whisk together eggs and cheese, spoon it into the shell and bake. Or use DiBari’s pastry recipe: a sort of a cross between a shortbread and a pie crust, flavored with fennel seeds. It’s crumbly and flaky and delicious.
At the restaurant, DiBari serves his “Easter Pie ‘Everyday,’ “as he calls it, with a roasted red-pepper marmalade. It’s a great garnish for a restaurant, but to make it easier to serve at home, you can buy red peppers in a jar, chop them up and put in a bowl for guests to help themselves.
A great accompaniment to Easter Pie is a leafy green salad (red leaf and Boston lettuce mixed makes a nice presentation), dressed simply with a lemon vinaigrette. And if company is coming for mimosas first, a platter of fruit such as strawberries and blueberries makes a nice nibble before brunch. For dessert, why not order a tart? Or, just open a few chocolates and call it a day.
What could be easier than that, especially on Easter morning?
Adapted from David DiBari’s “Easter Pie Everyday”
For the crust:
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
1/4 pound grated Grana Padano cheese (similar to Parmesan)
3 cups King Arthur flour
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds
4 egg yolks
1/2 cups heavy cream
1 egg whisked with a splash of milk to brush on pastry
For the filling:
4 ounces Genoa salami, diced
4 ounces hot sopressata, diced
4 ounces sweet sopressata, diced
2 cups ricotta
1/2 cup Grana Padano cheese, grated
To make the crust, dice the butter into cubes and put in the refrigerator to keep cold while you measure out the other ingredients. Combine Grana Padano, flour, cayenne and fennel seeds in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse three times to combine.
Add the butter and pulse until the butter is about the size of peas. Add the egg yolks one at a time and pulse to combine. While the processor is running, pour in heavy cream. The dough will not combine, but should stick together when you press it between your thumb and forefinger.
Place the dough onto the countertop and knead quickly to combine. Do not overwork the dough. (Pretend it is too hot to touch.) Shape the dough into a flat circle and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine salami and hot and sweet sopressatas. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in ricotta and Grana Padano. Add sausage to egg mixture and stir to combine.
Roll out dough to about a 12 to 14 inch circle, 1/4 inch thick. Place in a 9-inch pie shell, with at least 2 inches hanging over the edge.
Fill the shell with the egg-meat mixture and smooth down with a spatula. Gently fold the extra dough over and onto the filling, leaving a circle of filling open in the middle.
Brush the egg-milk wash over the exposed dough to create a shine during baking.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the filling is set but still jiggling and the crust is golden brown.
Let rest for at least 2 hours until cool. Refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.