April 15th, 2010
So every year at Easter my husband’s family makes Easter pies. It’s an Italian tradition and the pies can be savory or sweet. M’s family makes savory pies and I’ve been trying to learn this skill, and though since we were hosting the pie making this year that it would be fun to document the process. So here it goes…
So first thing is the sausage which must be purchased about 2 weeks before Easter. We bought 4 pounds of Italian sausage (3 lbs of hot and 1 lb of sweet) from Central Market, it’s their house sausage. You have to poke holes in the sausage and then put them on a rack in the fridge to dry for roughly two weeks. We did slightly less than two week, about 12 days. Then the day you make pies you cut the sausage into small chunks.
You also need chopped Italian parsley (seen in the above photo) and mozzarella (cubed into small cubes), ricotta, grated Parmesan cheese, eggs and of course some dough.
The dough technique is very different and requires flour, salt, water and Crisco and heavy kneading until it’s “soft as a babies bottom”.
Then the dough gets rolled into two pieces (top and bottom crust) while someone mixes the filling.
Then you place the bottom in a pan and fill it, without out pressing or squooshing the filling. Then the top crust goes on and is trimmed.
Then you press the crust into place with a fork to make sure it’s sealed tight. You also dab the bottom crust with water before placing the top crust down so it seals better.
Then the slather the top with a mixture of egg yolk and water and then you do the thing that makes it Easter pie, you cut a cross into the top.
Then there’s baking, and there might be drinking and more pies made.
And finally there’s this:
We made 8 pies, I think, in about 4 hours and we used both the oven and M’s Big Green Egg. I drank a lot of bubbles and it was fun. We capped the day off with dinner at Perla, but that’s another story.