Pizza Rustica, a special Italian ham pie packed with meat and cheeses, is often served on Easter to break the Lenten fast. It is a bit time-consuming to make, but well worth the effort.
- 8 Nature's Yoke eggs, jumbo
- 8 tbsp Crisco shortening
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp coarse ground pepper
- 5 cup bread flour
- 3/4 cup water, approximately
- 6 Nature's Yoke eggs, hard-boiled
- 6 Nature's Yoke eggs, beaten
- 2 lb basket cheese
- 3/4 lb fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 lb Italian Prosciutto ham (or) 1 lb. boiled ham and 1 lb. Prosciutto
- 2 cup Romano cheese, grated
- coarse ground pepper, to taste
- Mix Crisco and eggs together in a Kitchen Aid or Bosch mixer. Change to a dough hook.
- Add baking powder, salt and pepper. Add bread flour, one cup at a time. Add the water, a little at a time and continue to knead in mixer until a moist dough forms. Divide the dough into 6 balls, cover and set aside.
- Dice the hard boiled eggs, ham and the cheeses into 1/4 inch cubes. Add the beaten eggs and pepper. Mix well. Stir in grated Romano until a wooden spoon stands by itself in the mixture.
- Grease the bottom and sides of 3 loaf pans. Roll out 3 balls of dough and press into pans. The dough should hang over the edge an inch.
- Spoon the filling mixture into each loaf pan, patting it down with the back of a wooden spoon to remove any air pockets.
- Roll out remaining 3 balls of dough and top each loaf with pastry sheet. Roll and seal the edges together. Cut 3 slits in the top crust to let steam escape.
- Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes. Cover with foil and bake 30-45 minutes more. Let the loaves cool before slicing into 1" thick slices. Many prefer eating this dish cooled or at room temperature. The loaves can be frozen.