Author Notes: This recipe originates from my Neapolitan mother-in-law, passed down from her mother. It combines the sweet and savory tastes of both a pasta frolla crust and the pie ingredients which include fresh ricotta, pecorino cheese and salami. It can be used as an appetizer or quick lunch snack. Be sure to use fresh ricotta, not wet and not too dry in texture. – Heather V. —Heather V.
Food52 Review: Heather V. isn’t kidding about the sweet/salty combination in this recipe. The amount of sugar in the dough had me doing a double take, but eating thin slices out of hand straight from the refrigerator the next morning has made me a believer. When I asked my taste testers what time of day they thought the torta best suited for, the immediate reply was ‘all times of day!’ — I agree. – emmanation —emmanation
Pasta frolla (pie crust)
ounces All purpose flour
large whole eggs
teaspoon fine salt
teaspoon baking powder
pounds Fresh ricotta
(reserve) egg whites for brushing pasta frolla
cups freshly grated pecorino cheese
thick slices of salami diced (i.e. sopressata or montara)
freshly ground black pepper (Approx 3 turns)
Pasta frolla (pie crust)
- Place flour (reserve some for dusting board when kneading dough), sugar, butter, salt, baking powder in cuisinart. Pulse several times until mixed well. (Can opt to use pastry cutter in large bowl. My preference to test consistency) Pour ingredients into large bowl. Add eggs mix well by hand. Remove and knead well on lightly floured board. Consistency should be nice and smooth. (The benefit of this dough is that it can never be overworked). Divide and flatten dough into 2 disks (one slightly larger that the other) Refrigerate dough for approximately 2 hours until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees 30 minutes prior to removing dough for rolling/assembling torta rustica
- Place all ingredients in food processor (less egg whites) and pulse few times to gently just to combine. (Dont overmix) Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Roll out bottom portion of pasta frolla/pie crust (larger disk) on floured surface (dust rolling pin as well). Place in 9 inch nonstick springform pan with removable bottom. Use rolling pin by lying crust on top to facilitate placing in pan. Secure sides and bottom pressing gently all around. Make certain to have slight overhang. Take filling and place in pan. Use rubber spatula to press down slightly with even distribution. Refrigerate pan while rolling out upper segment of pasta frolla. Repeat procedure used for lower portion. Use scraps to create design pattern on top using miniature cookie cutouts.
- Remove pan from refrigerator and place upper crust on top of ingredients. Make sure to cover filling well with crust to edge of pan. Create border pattern to your liking with overhang and seal well.
- Brush entire pasta frolla with some of reserved egg whites. Cut out designs and place on top pie. Brush with egg white a final time.
- Place pan on middle rack of oven. Bake until crust is golden brown, approximately 1 hour. Careful not to open oven while baking.
- Remove and let cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from sprinform pan. OPTIONAL: If desired, can remove bottom portion of pan, can invert using large plate (be careful!) and gently remove bottom of pan from crust using dull knife. Plate pie with decorative cookies around using scraps of dough cooked at same temperature after baking pie. (Cooking time for cookies only 15min) Let cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve at room temperature. Tastes even better the following day. ENJOY!
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