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Tortica Rustica

Tortica Rustica

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Serves 10 to 12.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a recipe in Southern Italian Cooking by Jo Bettoja.

Tell people you are going to make salami pie and they will look at you like something in your head rattled loose. However, when they taste the pie they’ll wonder how they ever doubted you. I am famous, at least in my community, for my Salami Pie. This is a delicious savory pie that can be served as a snack, a side dish, or a main dish.

Ingredients:

For the Filling:
1 pound (450g) ricotta cheese
1 cup (135g) Parmesan or Romano cheese; grated
2 ounces (60g) Gruyère cheese; diced
½ pound (225g) provolone cheese; diced
½ pound (225g) mozzarella cheese; diced
5 ounces (150g) ham; chopped
¼ pound (115g) Genoa salami, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large eggs
For the Crust:
3½ cups sifted (16 oz/450g) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (150g) sugar
7/8 cup (200g) cold butter; cut into pieces
2 large eggs plus 1 egg white
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 egg yolk; beaten with 2 teaspoons water and ¼ teaspoon salt to make an egg yolk wash

Directions:

Assemble the filling first. If the ricotta cheese looks too moist it can be spread on several layers of paper towels with more paper towels pressed on top and set aside for half an hour to let the towels absorb excess moisture. Place the ricotta cheese in a large bowl with all the remaining filling ingredients and combine. Cover with plastic and set aside. Refrigerate if making well in advance.

Combine the flour, sugar, butter, 2 eggs, the egg white, and the wine and knead until smooth, about a minute or two. Divide the dough into 1/3 and 2/3 portions. Wrap the small portion and refrigerate. Roll the larger portion until large enough to line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan (about 14 inches (36cm) in diameter). Gently place the dough in the pan, easing and pressing the sides to come up to the top of the pan. Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C)

Fill the dough shell with the filling mixture, smoothing the top with a spoon. Roll the smaller portion of dough to fit into the springform pan. Crimp around the edges and form a decorative pattern. Dough scraps can be cut into leaves or other shapes to decorate the top. Brush the top with the egg yolk wash.

Bake 50 minutes. Allow to cool 15 minutes. Separate the sides of the springform pan (you might need to use a knife to loosen around the edges) and then close the pan again. Let cool 1 to 1½ hours before serving. This pie can also be served room temperature or chilled.