Happy Easter! I made this Easter Pie several weeks ago and it was wonderful. If you’re looking for something unique for tonight’s dinner (or ideas for what to put on the menu for next year’s Easter dinner), give this one a go. I was impressed. You can find the entire recipe on Martha Stewart’s website – right here.
A pie dough is made with addition of black pepper and Parmesan cheese. After chilling, it’s rolled out into two flat squares.
One of the portions of dough is formed into a square pan that’s been lined with parchment paper. The other portion is cut into strips for a lattice top.
The dough is then chilled. The crust is blind-baked and because the walls of the pie are so tall, I had to use ceramic bowls that I strategically arranged within the pan to keep the sides from folding over. I kept the bowls in there while the crust chilled and put them in again when I noticed the sides falling during the blind bake. They worked pretty well!
The filling is made with a mixture of cheeses, cooked spinach, prosciutto ham, and some other things for flavor and binding.
The filling is put into the baked crust and then remaining dough is formed into a lattice topping.
The edges of the lattice top are trimmed and tucked under and the whole thing is brushed with an egg wash before going in the oven.
The pie bakes for about 45 minutes; I received an urgent phone call about 10 minutes after putting my pie in the oven. A situation with a friend required me to stop baking it, as I had to leave the house right away and no one was home to watch it for me. I put it in the fridge and baked it when I returned home several hours later. I hoped for the best, and for the most part it seemed fine but the top looks a bit weird. I also wish I had lined the edges with foil so they wouldn’t be so dark.
It smells really delicious right from the oven. It’s tempting to dig right in but I think it tasted better the cooler it became and was at its best when just slightly warmer than room temperature.
I used one of these cheesecake pans with the removable bottoms and it made depanning this hefty pie very easy. The parchment helped too. This is a very tall, very weighty pie so you want to take care with this step.
As for how it tasted – it’s very, very creamy on account of all the ricotta cheese. The spinach is quite subtle and the prosciutto adds a lot of salty, savory flavor. I only used half the amount of prosciutto suggested and I imagine it would be better with the full amount. You need it to counter the creamy blandness of the ricotta. The nutmeg gives it a distinctive European touch – it reminded me of eating quiche.
It’s very easy to slice and portion once it’s cooled. It’s a very filling meal in and of itself. You could easily feed a dozen hungry people with one pie.
Overall, I loved the crust most of all – you can really taste the Parmesan and pepper in every flaky, buttery bite. I wasn’t so much sold on the filling, but like I said above, had I used the full amount of prosciutto I think the filling would have been much, much more flavorful. Otherwise, I was totally happy with it and everyone who tasted it agreed it was very cool-looking and totally satisfying.