TWD, Baking with Julia: Pizza Rustica

I'm thrilled to be one of the people chosen to write out the recipe for this week with Tuesdays with Dorie using the book Baking with Julia. If you check out what other people are saying about this recipe, they've summed it up pretty well - it is a sweet crust with a savory filling with the salty bite of prosciutto. Could it use some vegetables? Possibly some nutmeg? All the other bloggers who said that may be right. I do think though that the ricotta filling (I did buy ricotta made with skim) mixed with eggs is probably lower in fat than a quiche filling made with heavy cream - so that is a bonus. Overall, we liked it and my husband even immediately got up for seconds. It is a nice hearty dish that seems ideal cut up in slices and served at room temperature for a dinner party. It would probably be good for a brunch dish with a nice green salad. The other bloggers are right to point out that the fillings can easily be changed up. One problem I had: I read in Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home that if you cut up herbs ona cutting board you can lose a lot of the flavors from the herbs on the cutting board, so I use herb scissors. Using the herb scissors I feel that it is difficult to get the pieces cut small enough to lend the smoothest possible texture to the filling. Perhaps in that case I should have just chopped up the parsley, as I think that may have turned out better in the end. So here is mine. Other bloggers already pointed out not to stretch your pie crust in your pan or it will shrink in the baking.

Then you mix together your filling:

Spread it in your pie crust, and slice up the rest of the dough for strips for the lattice making (I used my fluted pastry wheel).

Then arranged the strips in a criss-cross pattern and press down and trim the ends.

Bake that lovely pie and then the tortuous part begins: waiting for it to cool.

Delicious! Check out all the bakers here. Now here is the recipe:

The dough (a sweet pie crust):

2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces
2 large eggs lightly beaten

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade; pulse a few times just to mix the ingredients. Add the butter and pulse 15 to 20 times, or until the mixture resembles fine cornmeal. With the machine running, add the eggs and process until the dough forms a ball on the blade, about a minute or so. Remove the dough from the processor and knead it, folding it over on itself, until it is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic and set aside until needed. (You can refrigerate it for up to 3 days.)

The filling (a savory cheesy hearty one):

1 pound whole milk ricotta
3 large eggs
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 pound grated mozzarella
1/4 pound thinly sliced and shredded prosciutto
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Scoop the ricotta into a medium bowl and stir until smooth with a rubber spatula. Add the rest of the filling ingredients one at a time, stirring until each addition is incorporated and the mixture is well blended.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch glass pie plate (I used ceramic).

Divide the dough into two pieces, one twice as large as the other. Working with the larger piece, knead it into a disc and roll it out on a lightly floured work surface into a 12-inch circle.

Transfer the dough to the pie plate and press it gently against the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Don't worry if the dough tears, just press it back together. Use the dull side of a knife to trim the excess dough even with the rim.

Scrape the filling into the pie shell and smooth the top.

Knead and shape the remaining piece of dough into a block and roll it into a 9-inch square. Using a pizza or pastry cutter, cut the dough into 12 even strips. To form the lattice top, lay 6 of the strips across the pie at 1 1/4 inch intervals, then criss cross the strips, placing the remaining strips diagonally across the first. Trim the ends of the strips even with the edge of the pan and pinch to seal.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is firm and slightly puffed. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool completely before serving. Leftovers can be kept wall covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


  1. Thanks for hosting. This was a fun recipe and one I will be baking again. You're right that it would make a good brunch dish.

  2. It was hard to wait for it to cool! My kitchen smelled heavenly. I did prefer it warm rather than room temperature. Nice job. Thanks for hosting!! :)

  3. What you made looks great! Pizza rustica is actually something I have a lot of experience with; it's a fairly common spring specialty in many Italian bakeries in New York City, and is something that they make in my dad's store. You scratched the surface on the sweetness of the pie. The crust is customarily more sweet than a normal pie crust, but the sweetness carries into the filling as well; it's not uncommon to taste vanilla or cinnamon or nutmeg, things that you'd associate with being sweet, in the filling. Proscuitto is a great choice for the meat in the filling, but most places don't stop there; genoa salami and sorpresata add tons of flavor, mainly because they contain a good amount of salt and renderable fat that permeates the rest of the filling.

    Good work!

    Now I want some pizza rustica!

  4. Thanks for hosting. I like the picture gallery, well done!

    Ulrike @K├╝chenlatein

  5. Lovely looking pie!! Thank you so much for hosting. We liked this one, however I did modify it a bit. I'd love to go to an Italian eatery and taste one they've made.

  6. Nice job, Emily. Thanks for hosting this month!

  7. Thank you everyone - you are welcome!

  8. Great recipe to have hosted! I almost didn't make this one but was so glad I did!! Lovely Pizza!

    1. I almost passed as well, but I didn't have to come up with a new idea for dinner so I jumped on it.

  9. Thanks for posting the recipe! This is a fun one to be host on! :) Your pizza rustica looks perfect! I love your lattice.

  10. This recipe looks great, and thanks for the tip about cutting herbs. I've never heard that before.

  11. Your pie looks lovely. My husband thought it tasted like quiche, but I don't care for quiche so I didn't think it did because I really liked it. I loved the taste of the different cheeses in this pizza pie. Thank you so much for hosting this week.

  12. Thank you for hosting this week! That shot of the filling in the bowl makes me want to sit down and take a spoon to it. :)

  13. Thanks for hosting! Your pie looks great - makes me want to go out and buy a fluted pastry wheel.

  14. you should! the fluted pastry wheel is a lot of fun and not expensive.

  15. What a great result! Thanks so much for hosting this week :)

  16. Great job hosting this week - your pie looks great!

  17. Thanks for hosting! Your pizza rustica looks great!

  18. thanks for hosting

    ~ Carmen

  19. looks delicious! thanks for hosting :)

  20. Thank you so much for hosting us. I loved this recipe!

  21. I thought this pie was a amazing and I will diffidently make it again! Thanks for hosting!

  22. i love to do a little savory baking now and again. my husband liked this, too. thanks for hosting!


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