Monday, April 2, 2012

Baking with Julia: Pizza Rustica

Man, is it that time again? Seems like these BwJ recipe due dates keep sneaking up on me! Well, this week we did Pizza Rustica and since I'd never made anything like it before, I pretty much stuck to the recipe, which is unusual for me :)




The recipe (found at Capital Region Dining and The Place They Call Home) was pretty straight forward... a pie crust filed with 52 pounds of cheese (ok, I may be exaggerating slightly) and prosciutto. To me, it sounded slightly quiche-ish (quiche-y? quichesque!) and I was sorely tempted to add veggies, though in the end I stuck to only adding some green onion for a bit of color and flavour. The filling was a mix of ricotta, mozzarella and romano cheeses studded with some prosciutto... so far so good; that should be rich and salty which should balance out the sweet crust. Yes, you heard me... it has a _sweet_ crust. Fairly basic pie crust with sugar in it. You know, like you'd make an apple pie with. *blink* But again, I wasn't going to argue, I hadn't tried it yet, and the recipe assured me it would be good.

This weekend was my birthday, so B and I went to Ottawa to visit my mom, then scooted home Sunday afternoon so I could get the pizza made in time for B's parents to drop by for dinner. (Wait, how come I had to cook my own birthday dinner?!? Ok, so I may have volunteered, but still!) I started the crust first, and followed the recipe to the letter, and just as B's parents got here, I was throwing some rather colourful curses at said crust. I will fully admit I'm not 100% comfortable with pie crusts just yet, and this stuff fought me at every turn. I was afraid of over-working it, but when I tried to roll it out it just fell apart. So then I kneaded it some more and it still remained obstinate. So finally I chucked it in the pie dish and used my fingers to press it into the shape I needed... the hell with it :P The lattice was easier to roll out and cut, so I scooped the filling into the shell and proceeded to top with the lattice pieces while I chatted with B's mom. Into the oven it went and thankfully I glanced back at the recipe to check the cooking time and noticed it said the filling should be slightly puffed when ready. Wait, why would it be puffed? It's only cheese? HOLY CRAP, I forgot the eggs!

So I snatched it back out of the oven, and in between cursing and laughing, peeled the lattice top off, scooped the filling back out and beat the eggs in. Everything got put back together again and back into the oven with an egg wash in the crust to give it a nice finish. Finally, only an hour after when I said dinner would be on the table, we sat down to eat:


Everyone enjoyed it, except me. The filling was great, but I just couldn't enjoy it with the sweet crust. It just did *not* go together. Either the crust needed less sugar, or the filling needed stronger flavours, such as a saltier, more pronounced cheese or maybe olives and some herbs. As it was, the cheese was very creamy and mild, and it just seemed to amplify the crust's sweetness, and for me it just didn't work.

It was still an enjoyable meal paired with a green salad, but if I were to make this again, it would not be the way the recipe instructs. That said, considering B's lactose-intolerance, I would sooner make quiche (which I can do with lactose-free cream and cheese) than pizza rustica, so chances are this one won't be a repeat for us.

Once the pizza was done and thoroughly discussed, we moved on to the best part of the meal, dessert!


Please ignore the chocolate numbers... they're clearly a mistake. I turned 29 this year... (for the eighth time). ;)

23 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday! You're waaaay too young to be worrying about the numbers. Love the egg story!

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  2. Happy Birthday! Your "pizza' still turned out great and your dessert tray looks yummy too.

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  3. Happy Birthday! It made me smile to picture you peeling off the lattice top, scooping out the filling and beating in the eggs, then putting it back together again! Sounds like something I would do!

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  4. Happy Birthday!! Ohhh goodness about forgetting the eggs, sometimes they are just to easy to leave out!

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  5. Happy Birthday! Glad you ended with success!

    Ulrike @K├╝chenlatein

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  6. Happy Bday...36 is young:) Your PR looks good!

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  7. 52 pounds of cheese?! Teehee! I did have a great chuckle thinking of peeling the lattice apart to rework eggs into the filling. I dislike when I forget really important ingredients in things. Happy Birthday and I hope those delicious looking desserts made up for the pizza for you!

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  8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! your pizza looks great. I would prefer the lovely desserts YUM

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  9. Happy Birthday!! Very funny egg story - pie looks lovely!

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  10. Now that was a great save! I, too, had some flavor issues with the sweet dough. I think it was just the unexpectedness of it that made it difficult to get used to. It was tasty, but probably not a repeat here, either

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  11. LOL, well we are all feeling the same way it seems :) either de-sweeten the crust or intensify the savory aspect of the fillings ... great job! How hilarious that you dug out the filling to put the eggs in! :) Happy birthday too!

    Alice @ http://acookingmizer.wordpress.com

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  12. Too funny! And I love the desserts!

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  13. Happy birtday. 25 is a great age :-) I am sure that is what you really meant to say.
    Your pie looks lovely - and hey, I am usually cooking my own birthday dinner as well. (But I draw the line at dessert)

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  14. Too bad you didn't enjoy the crust. Your pizza rustica looks great though!

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  15. Great minds think alike and use green onions. ;) That is hilarious that you forgot to mix in the eggs and take the top off. That completely sounds like something I would do. I will never forgive myself for not using an egg wash on the top, yours looks beautiful!

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  16. Looks great! You're funny, it has happened a lot to me as well that I forget to put ingredients!!!

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  17. Well, you're lots older than I...I've been 24 for several years; my kids have surpassed me and that's OK. I'm impressed that with a dismantaling your pie is so lovely...I"d have never guessed. I was going to ask if you used an egg wash, so I'm glad you already answered my question. I'd rather have my kind of authentic Italian pizza, but it was fun to try something different.

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  18. Happy belated birthday! You would never know that you had any dramas making this dish - it turned out perfect. I wasn't a fan of the sweet with savoury either.

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  19. Happy Birthday! I will be celebrating the 7th anniversary of my 29th birthday this year too ;)

    I'm sorry you weren't crazy about the pizza, but I do understand the weirdness between the sweet crust and the filling. I used it for a sweet pie the other night and it was a much better match :D

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  20. What a fun blog you have- I loved your tale of forgetting ingredients! Don't you just hate it when that happens? Lovely tart you created despite it all & the bookoo of cheese. Hope your special day was delightful!

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  21. Happy Birthday! Sorry to read you didn't enjoy it.
    Those desserts sure look good! Yum!

    Your pie looks fabulous!

    ~ Carmen
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/twd-baking-with-julia-pizza-rustica/

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  22. Your post had me laughing - great story! And Happy Birthday!!

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  23. Great save with the eggs! I've done that before, only with sugar in a cake batter. You know, I was licking the batter off my fingers and saying "gee, this doesn't taste very sweet..." when I realized. I had to dump all the batter out of the pans, back into the bowl, mix in the sugar, and hope for the best!! Nice results and your crust looks wonderful. The egg wash really helped.

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