NJ Italian Easter Pie
Where I grew up in NJ, my friends' moms always made an Easter pie this time of year.
"Pizza Gane" was what it was called. I never asked questions, I just happily ate it!
It was a delicious meat pie, stuffed with good quality salami, mortadella, capicola, mozzarella, basket cheese, the works.
Some people call it a Pizza Rustica.
I have made it many times over the years and love it. Everyone's mother and grandmother made a different recipe.
Over the years, I tried to decipher what the Italian word "GAIN or GANE" meant, and couldn't find anything in my Italian language books (except I can guarantee you will "gain" weight from eating too much of it!).
Finally, I found out it was Southern Italian dialect for pizza CHENA (pizza Kay-Na)! A Neapolitan word meaning "full pie".
(I also thought that calamari was called "GALAMAD" for 20 years).
Here is Susan's Grandmother's recipe, and Italian Food Forever's recipe. My mouth waters whenever I look at the photos.
The other moms made a version of Easter pie that was sweet, for dessert.
No meat, no cold cuts, no basket cheese, just a ricotta filling with chocolate, candied orange or citron and a pasta frolla (crust).
This is a good basic recipe, it's delicious and the perfect Easter dessert, whether you are Italian or not!
Easter Pie (sweet version):
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold diced butter
pinch of salt
1/8 tsp baking powder (a pinch)
16 oz container ricotta cheese (2 cups)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp grated orange zest
1/4 tsp almond extract (or vanilla)
1-2 tbsp of candied orange (optional)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
Make the crust. In a food processor, dump in all the ingredients, including the eggs.
Whiz for a minute or two until a nice ball of dough appears.
Dump out on a cutting board and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Take out of the fridge and roll out the dough on the plastic wrap (so it doesn't stick to the cutting board) into a 10" circle.
Using the plastic wrap as a delivery method, turn the dough upside down into a 9" pie dish or 9" fluted deep dish tart pan with removable bottom.
Press dough into the sides of the pans to make a nice even fit. Put back in the fridge while you make the filling.
Mix the ricotta w/ the zest, eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, and gradually mix in the rest of the ingredients.
Pour into your prepared pie crust and bake in a 350F preheated oven for 45 minutes.
Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.