Following the recipe of a loved one who has passed makes us feel like they’re still beside us in the kitchen. This is especially true for Nadine Jarossy, a faithful follower of my blog, as she prepares her grandmother’s Italian Easter Pie. Traditionally made on Good Friday and savored all weekend, the pie is a rich, rustic treat signifying the end of Lent.
Nadine has a vibrant connection with her grandmother Katherine, which is kept alive every Easter. Nadine’s earliest memory of the pie is from visits to her grandparents’ Hazleton home and Italian grocery when she was 5 or 6 years old.
Every Easter the family would gather at the grandparents’ home, adjacent to the shop. Though Nadine has “tons of memories of that Italian store,” it may be the thought of dozens of Easter pies lined up on shelves, tucked between paper towels in the breezeway between home and shop, that she cherishes most.
Nadine clearly remembers making the pies with her grandmother for the last Easter before she passed. In fact, you can visit my “2 Weird Hungry Girls” podcast to hear me talking with Nadine about this recipe, and all of her priceless memories surrounding it. Sharing this recipe is like sharing a piece of her heart.
- Crust Ingredients
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Flour for dusting
- Filling Ingredients
- 3 cups part-skim ricotta or basket cheese (available at Italian specialty stores)
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, cubed
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Optional Filling Ingredients (use some or all of these to personalize your pie)
- ½ pound cubed ham or capicola
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed, fried (not overly browned) and crumbled
- ¼ pound chopped prosciutto
- ⅓ pound pepperoni
- ⅓ diced Genoa salami
- ¼ cup grated Romano cheese
- Crust Preparation
- In a small bowl, beat the eggs, water, and oil; set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder. Make a well in the center.
- Gradually pour the egg mixture into the center. Using a fork, incorporate the egg mixture into the flour until it forms a ball. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for 10 minutes as you prepare the pie ingredients.
- Knead the dough until silky smooth, form into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap.
- Pie Preparation
- In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, beaten eggs, mozzarella, parsley, pepper and optional ingredients. Add the hard-boiled eggs last.
- Divide the room-temperature dough in half. Roll out on a well-floured surface to fit a 10-inch deep-dish glass pie pan (about 14 inches). Fold the dough in quarters and place in the pan, unfold, then prick the dough with a fork.
- Scoop the filling mixture into the pan and spread evenly.
- Beat one egg with the tablespoon of water. Brush the edge of the dough with the egg mixture.
- Roll out the remaining dough to a size extending over the top of the pie. Fold the dough in quarters and place over the filling, then unfold. Pinch the top and bottom crusts together and fold over the edge of the pie.
- Cut slits in the top crust, then brush the entire top crust with the egg mixture.
- Bake on a cookie sheet (to catch any filling that seeps out) at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, until the crust is golden.
- Allow the pie rest for at least one hour before cutting. The pie can be served warm or at room temperature. It can be stored in the refrigerator and freezes well.
I can’t believe I’ve never seen one of these before.
Happy to make the introduction! I love what I do! SO happy Nadine shared her story and family recipe. It’s one of my mom’s favorite treats. When she still lived in the area she wheels buy her pie from Salino’s at Fairgrounds.
Wanda canakis says
Great pie and I have my first taste in 1962.glade to be able to bake my own .
Definitely bookmarking this to make for brunch some day soon! Did you see the bacon & egg pie that Melissa Clark wrote about in the NYTimes? It’s great and I think you’d like it based on this. She adds a spicy ketchup sauce to the pie filling-weird but super tasty. Has nothing to do with Easter though, but anyways… 😉
Janice, thanks for the feedback. When I made the first batch I emailed Nadine to tell her there was no way that the filling was going to fit in the pie dish. It did! I’ll be googling that pie you mentioned!
Marcy Pampena Bates says
My family has made this every year since long before I was born. Each family brings their own version to Grandma’s on Easter to compare.
I love that story! I hope you had a good time with family over the Easter holiday.