It just isn’t Easter in our household unless I make Easter pie!
You may or may not be familiar with this Italian pie that is a savory, quiche-like wonder that evokes strong memories for me!
When I was a little girl, my sisters and I would walk down the street to see our beloved Aunt Kate, my Daddy’s older sister, who was the “Queen of Easter Pie!”
Since my Dad lost his Mom at six weeks of age, my Aunt Kate became his surrogate mother and we, in turn, developed a strong bond with her, our “grandmother” figure … she was the best!
She LOVED opera and almost every Saturday we would go to visit and sip soda (we never had it at home!) while we listened to Aida and other operas on the radio, while Aunt Kate sipped her beer. Aunt Kate was 100% Italian and made the best food…we are lucky to have some of her finest recipes!
The tradition in my family, as a child, was to eat your last piece of Easter pie right before midnight on Holy Thursday. Since we didn’t eat meat during Lent on Fridays, and of course, the next day was Good Friday, you certainly couldn’t have any Easter pie then!
So you filled your tummy and then waited….until you could savor the next piece! Torture!
Needless to say, Aunt Kate’s Easter pie was legendary in the family. She taught our Croatian mother to make it and since my Mom was a great baker, she really did quite well.
So, again, it’s really not Easter, unless there is Easter pie in the house!
I’ve continued the tradition with my girls and they enjoyed this delight their whole lives.
A few years ago when our Claudia was vegan, she asked me if I could possibly figure out a way to make a vegan Easter pie! And while I made everything vegan for most holidays if she was coming home…Easter pie with all of its meats and cheeses just wasn’t going to happen!
I have been able to make Aunt Kate’s recipe gluten-free since I don’t make a crust. The original recipe calls for a very lovely egg crust (top and bottom), but I simply found it easier to omit it all together, and make mine like a quiche.
So far, no complaints….just so long as the Easter pie appears ready to be eaten in our refrigerator!
The post is in honor of my Daddy, who would have been 92 today! We lost him to cancer at age 57, and he never got to see me marry my Lewie, or meet my precious girls, and three more of his wonderful grandchildren.
There isn’t an Easter that goes by, that I don’t recall all of the great memories of food and fun as a little girl with my family.
Thanks, Daddy and Mommy, and special thanks to Aunt Kate for this amazing recipe!
Aunt Kate’s Easter Pie
1 ½ lb of ham
1 ½ lb of hot or mild Italian sausage (out of the casing)
3 lb fresh ricotta cheese
¼ cup Italian Romano Pecorino cheese (grated)
3 whole eggs
3 egg whites
Handful of fresh parsley or 2-3 tsp dried parsley
Dash of pepper
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
First, you must cook 1 ½ lb of ham and when cool, cube it into bite-sized chunks. Next, brown 1 ½ lb of hot or mild Italian sausage out of the casing. Cool on a paper towel-lined dish.
Meanwhile in a very LARGE bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, Romano Pecorino cheese, 3 whole eggs, 3 egg whites, parsley, pepper and 3 hard-boiled eggs.
When the mixture has been thoroughly combined, add the ham and sausage, along with the hard-boiled eggs.
Divide the combined mixture into 3 pie plates.
Bake @ 350˚ for 45 minutes to one hour. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.
Since the original Easter Pie recipe has a crust, I thought I would share it with you here, even though it is NOT gluten-free!
6 cups flour
1 cup Crisco
Lukewarm water (you have to add a little at a time)
Blend all of the above and roll into 6 round pieces….each pie gets a bottom and a top. My Aunt Kate used to save the egg yolks (from the whites that were used for the inside of the pie) to brush the pie crust tops.
She also added ¼ lb of tuma cheese, thinly sliced, which holds the crust to the inside of the pie…you layer this cheese on top of the cheese and meat mixture.
Maybe some Easter if I am especially ambitious I will try to adapt the crust recipe to be gluten-free, but to be honest, it is great without it!
I hope you enjoy your Easter….
I will be eating a piece today wishing my Daddy a happy birthday in heaven!
© 2015, Monica of glutenfreedoubletalk