Italian Easter Pie

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Yield: 2 large pies

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Easter pie, a double-crust "stuffed pizza" filled with ham, eggs, and cheese, is traditionally eaten in Italian households the day before Easter.

Italian Easter Pie

star rating (11) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 large pies
Published: 03/07/2011

Ingredients

Crust

  • 5 cups Italian-Style Flour or 4 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons King Arthur Easy-Roll Dough Improver (optional, but very helpful); or nonfat dry milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water*
  • *If you use all-purpose flour, increase the water to 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces)

Filling

  • 1 dozen large eggs
  • 1 pound good-quality, full-flavored ham
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese, part-skim preferred
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, lightly packed
  • salt, coarsely ground black pepper, and chopped fresh parsley, to taste

Glaze

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Directions

see this recipe's blog »

1) Mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients — by hand, in a mixer, or in a bread machine — until you've made a soft, smooth dough.

2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for 1 to 2 hours, until it's quite puffy, nearly doubled in bulk. While the dough is rising, make the filling.

3) Hard-boil and peel 6 of the eggs.

4) Place the hard-boiled eggs, ham (cut in chunks), and fresh parsley (1/2 cup or so) in the work bowl of a food processor. Process until chopped and combined. Don't over-process; the ham and eggs should still be a bit chunky. You can also simply dice the eggs and ham, and chop the parsley, if you don't have a food processor.

5) Combine the ham, boiled eggs, and parsley with the raw eggs, ricotta, and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and about 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper. If the ham is salty, you may not need any salt at all.

6) Deflate the dough, and divide it into four pieces.

7) Roll two of the dough pieces into rounds about 13" in diameter, and place them on lightly greased or parchment-lined 12" pizza pans. Or roll into ovals about 10" x 14", and place on two lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Note: If you're using parchment, it's easiest to roll right on the parchment, then lift the crusts, parchment and all, onto the pans.

8) Divide the filling evenly between the two crusts, covering them to within 1" of their edges. You'll use a generous 3 cups (about 27 ounces) for each crust.

9) Roll out the other two pieces of dough, and place them atop the filled crusts, gently stretching them, if necessary, to cover the filling. Seal the crust edges by rolling the bottom crust up over the top, and pinching together.

10) Using a sharp knife or pair of scissors, cut a 1" hole in the very center of each top crust; this will allow steam to escape.

11) Make the topping by whisking together the egg and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Paint each crust with some of the topping; this will yield a golden brown, shiny crust with mildly sweet flavor, a perfect foil for the salty ham.

12) Allow the pies to rest while you preheat your oven to 350°F, about 15 minutes. They don't need to be covered.

13) Bake the pies for about 25 minutes, until they're a deep, golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and carefully slide them off the pan/parchment and onto on a rack to cool.

14) Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Yield: 2 large pies.

Reviews

1 2  All  
  • 05/30/2014
  • valtaylor from KAF Community
  • I've added and added this to my recipe box, but it isn't showing up there.
    We've been experiencing some technical difficulties with our website over the past few days and we're doing our best to get everything back up and running as soon as possible. I do apologize for the inconvenience and hope you'll be able to save this recipe in your recipe box soon. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 04/19/2014
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  • star rating 04/13/2014
  • happycookr from KAF Community
  • I made my pies today. I don't use a yeast dough. Mine is an egg dough that is more like pie crust. My filling is also different. I cube ham, cooked sausage, pepperoni, hard boiled eggs, and tuma cheese which is like mozzarella and mix it with fresh ricotta, fresh eggs, Romano cheese and chopped parsley. We serve ours cold but you could warm it if you like that better.
  • star rating 05/05/2011
  • juthurst from KAF Community
  • I found this to be an interesting recipe and the thought of having Easter breakfast already whipped up really appealed to me :) I think that if you grew up with Easter pie you would probably love this. My family did not. There are foods that I grew up with that other folks probably would not appreciate as it is not a part of their food heritage. Norwegian lefse is a great favorite in my family but you might really hate it ;) For me this recipe was just okay. My family did not request seconds and some didn't finish their only serving. Tastes vary not just based on family heritage and exposure to ethnic foods but also by region of the country, so you may very well find this recipe to be scrumptious.
  • star rating 04/25/2011
  • LeeB from KAF Community
  • Just made this for the day before Easter, like the directions said. :) It was simple to make and a delicious way to use a dozen fresh eggs we just gathered from a local egg farm! It's also an easy way to get kids to eat more eggs without realizing it. I snuck in one cup of freshly milled whole wheat pastry flour and one of white wheat in place of some of the all-purpose. I was hoping this might mimic the Italian style flour. Don't know if it was the right thing to do but the dough was lovely in any case. Everyone loved the crispy, sweet egg wash coating - just the right touch!
    I am glad you enjoyed this recipe. You did a great job using some whole grains in your crust, too. Actually, our Italian Style Flour is not a whole grain flour and very low in protein. It is good for creating thin and crispy pizza crust or crackers. Elisabeth
  • star rating 04/23/2011
  • lesliepagnotta from KAF Community
  • My born-in-Italy husband and in-laws loved this! Instead of the pastry in this recipe though, I made a KAF's sourdough pizza dough and used it as the bread making just 1/2 of the recipe for the filling. Also, I used prosciutto :)
  • star rating 04/20/2011
  • JennC13 from KAF Community
  • Made this to bring to work today and it was a huge hit! Especially from one of my coworkers whose grandmother always made "Easter Pizza" that they weren't allowed to eat until after church on Easter Sunday. I did have to bake mine an extra five minutes or so, but I'm not sure if it was because I used commercial grade sheet pans, and they sometimes take slightly longer to cook. I also added a handful of mozzarella cheese to the filling. Delicious!
  • star rating 04/18/2011
  • cynthia20932 from KAF Community
  • Made this today for a pre-Easter celebration, and it went over big! I can't wait to try it again using some different meats and veggies. Using parchment paper as suggested makes it surprisingly easy. Thanks for the recipe!
  • star rating 04/13/2011
  • DICK from MA
  • This recipe is pretty similar to my mom's, but we always used the fresh cheese in lieu of ricotta. We used ham and sometimes added a little prosciutto. As I get older I now use the store bought or bakery dough as it is much easier.
  • star rating 04/12/2011
  • mardee23 from KAF Community
  • I made this today and OH! The crust is soft and flavorful with just the right amount of crisp browning. The ricotta made the filling so fluffy. I also loved the texture of adding hard boiled eggs. Instead of making 2 large pies I decided to make 16 individual serving size pies. My baking time was reduced to about 20 minutes. I look forward to using this recipe as a springboard and mixing it up with different meats, cheeses, fresh herbs and such. I encourage you to try this recipe if you are thinking about it. It is dee-lish!
    Thanks for sharing your individual pie variations, including the baking time that worked the best! Irene @ KAF
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