Baked Sunday Mornings: Mega Easter Pie (a Meat and Cheese Utopia)

Even though I am much more comfortable making desserts than savory food, I do enjoy dabbling on the savory side of baking. So I didn't mind the savory food detour on this week's Baked Sunday Mornings schedule: the Mega Easter Pie (a Meat and Cheese Utopia). But what struck dread in my heart was the fact that the recipe is a pie that uses the same classic pie dough recipe that fails me every single time (see, e.g., lemon shaker pie, sawdust pie, peaches and dream pie, buttermilk pie, and blackberry pie). Frustratingly, I seem to be the only one who can't make a pie without having a soggy and undercooked bottom crust. But hey, I'm always willing to give it another try.

At least the crust is easy to make. You mix together flour, sugar, and salt; add cubes of cold butter; pulse in the food processor; and add ice-cold water and process until the dough comes together in a ball. You divide the dough in half, wrap each part in plastic, and chill.

The filling for this pie is a cardiologist's nightmare: two types of meat (cubed black forest ham and proscuitto) and five types of cheese (ricotta, smoked mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, and provolone). You mix all of the meat and cheese together with some eggs, lemon zest, parsley, black pepper, and a cooked and cooled mixture of diced onions, thyme, crushed red pepper, and roasted red peppers.

To make the pie, you roll out one half of the pie crust dough and use it to line a greased 9-inch springform pan. You fill the crust with the meat and cheese filling and cover it with the remaining rolled-out dough. After crimping the top and bottom crusts together, you brush the top crust with egg wash, cut some steam vents, and bake. I baked my pie for 70 minutes.
I let the pie cool for about 90 minutes before serving. It released from the springform pan without a problem, and I was able to cut clean slices that held together. A little bit of liquid seeped out of the pie after I cut it. And I can't say that I was surprised in the slightest when I discovered that the bottom crust was undercooked. Sigh. I just can't get pies right.
Soggy bottom crust notwithstanding, Tom and I really enjoyed this pie. What's not to like -- we love cured meats, and this is a meaty, cheesy indulgence. It was quite salty from all of the meat and cheese, even though there was no table salt added to the filling. I liked the bit of brightness from the lemon zest and I think it might have been nice to have more vegetables inside, but still -- this was awfully tasty. And while the bottom crust was terrible, the side and top crusts were perfectly cooked.

I don't imagine that I would make this again, but only because I like to save my calories for dessert. And the fact that I really don't like making pies. But for Easter or any other occasion when you need to feed a meat-loving crowd, this pie is mega-satisfying.

Recipe: "Mega Easter Pie (a Meat and Cheese Utopia)" from Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.


Louise said…
Your soggy bottom crust problems are crazy. What do you do? Do you bake the pies on the bottom shelf? Do you use something like a pre-heated pizza steel or a huge iron skillet(my solution) to get the bottom up to speed?
I'm just crust-impaired. I didn't take any special precautions this time, although I did bake on the bottom third of the oven (not directly on top of the fibrament stone I keep in the oven... I should have done that...).
Anonymous said…
I struggled with the crust too, if that makes you feel any better! It came out of the food processor weird and patchy-- not sure what happened. Mine was underbaked too, though I should have left it in an extra 10 minutes like you did. Still, I too thought it was absolutely delicious!! The outside crust on your pie is just beautiful! :)
Louise said…
The stone is probably the solution. I think this pie sounds like a good thing for a summer gathering. A variation of some of the French loaves, the name of which slips my mind right now.
Pinar said…
Unbaked bottom pie crust or not, your pie looks absolutely delicious! I skipped this week, but now I'm thinking I'll have to give this a try pretty soon.
Katrina Lexa said…
Your pie looks fantastic! Thank you for being brave enough to try it, because now that I'm drooling over your photos, I wish I had been around for Easter to make it myself. Maybe I'll play catch up this weekend :)