Weekend Recipe: Italian Easter Pie

Are you up for a culinary challenge this Easter? Or any time, really -- there's no season on cheese, dough, and deli meats. America's Test Kitchen has whittled down this traditional Italian Easter dish to just the best ingredients. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time, as it needs to rest for at least four hours after coming out of the oven.

Photo courtesy America's Test Kitchen
Photo courtesy America's Test Kitchen

Italian Easter Pie
Serves 12

3 large eggs
3 tablespoons cold water
3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped
8 ounces hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound (2 cups) whole-milk ricotta cheese
4 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (2 cups)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces thinly sliced aged provolone cheese
6 ounces thinly sliced hot capicola
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1. FOR THE DOUGH: Whisk eggs and cold water together in bowl; set aside. Process flour and salt in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Scatter butter and shortening over top and pulse until only pea-size pieces remain, about 10 pulses. Add egg mixture and pulse until dough ball forms, about 20 pulses. Turn out dough onto lightly floured counter and knead until smooth and elastic, about 20 turns. Divide dough into one 1-pound ball and one 10-ounce ball (roughly into two-thirds and one-third) and form each into 6-inch disk. Wrap disks tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.

2. FOR THE FILLING: Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add broccoli rabe, sausage, and salt and cook, breaking up sausage with spoon, until sausage is cooked through and broccoli rabe is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to plate and let cool completely, about 15 minutes. Whisk ricotta, Pecorino, eggs, and pepper together in large bowl.

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3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease dark-colored 9-inch round cake pan. Roll 1-pound disk of dough into 14-inch circle on well-floured counter. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto prepared pan, letting excess dough hang over edge. Ease dough into pan by gently lifting and supporting edge of dough with your hand while pressing into pan bottom and sides with your other hand. Leave overhanging dough in place.

4. Shingle half of provolone in bottom of dough-lined pan. Spread ricotta mixture over provolone. Scatter sausage mixture over ricotta mixture and press lightly into even layer. Shingle capicola over sausage mixture, followed by remaining provolone.

5. Roll remaining disk of dough into 10-inch circle on well-floured counter. Brush overhanging dough of bottom crust with egg wash. Loosely roll 10-inch circle around rolling pin and gently unroll it over filling. Trim overhanging top and bottom doughs to 1/2 inch beyond lip of pan and pinch firmly together. Fold overhanging dough inward so folded edge is flush with edge of pan. Crimp dough evenly around edge of pan with tines of fork.

6. Brush top of pie liberally with egg wash. Using paring knife, cut eight 1-inch vents in top of dough in circular pattern. Bake until filling registers 150 degrees in center of pie and crust is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer pie to wire rack and let cool for at least 4 hours or refrigerate for up to 2 days. Remove pie from pan, slice into wedges, and serve.

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