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  • Lucia Borzillo

Mom's Easter Meat Pie

Updated: Mar 30



This year, I decided to give myself the ultimate Easter gift: a stress-free baking experience for Mom's legendary Easter Meat Pies. Instead of squeezing the baking process into a hectic weeknight or weekend, I took a strategic approach – a long weekend, to be exact!


Thursday became "Dough Day," dedicated solely to crafting the perfect Pate Brisse crust. This trusty recipe from the Silver Palate Cookbook never disappoints (seriously, it's the only crust recipe I use!). The production of the pie dough took 3 hours.


Next, armed with my handy diagram for meat thicknesses, I ventured to the deli counter at Stop & Shop. A little tip: providing clear instructions to the deli staff makes their job easier and gets you exactly what you need.



Back home, it was all about prepping the fillings. Italian sausage was cooked, pepperoni was transformed into cubes and then boiled, and ham was diced to perfection. Everything went into a large bowl and in the fridge for the night. I waited until Friday morning to cut up the basket cheese.



Friday morning production started at about 9 AM. By 2:30 PM, the last pie emerged from the oven.


This extra time made all the difference. Pure, focused pie-making bliss. And the results were worth every minute!




Pate Brisee - (this recipe is for 2 pies, top and bottom crusts)

Ingredients-

6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour


2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

22 Tbsp sweet butter, chilled


12 Tbsp vegetable shortening, chilled

1 cup iced water


Method-

  • Sift the flour, salt, and pepper into a bowl; add butter and shortening and cut them into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture is like a coarse meal.

  • Sprinkle on and blend in enough ice water to make a workable dough, mixing water lightly with a fork.

  • Turn dough out onto your work surface and, using the heel of your hand, smear the dough away from you, about 1/4 cup at a time.

  • Scrap the smeared dough into 4 balls, Use a food scale so all the dough balls are the same size. Wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.



Eleanor Lombardi's Pizzagaina- (this recipe is for 6 regular-sized pies and 1 small pie)


Ingredients-

4 pounds baked ham, diced

2 pounds pepperoni, skinned, diced and boiled, drained (boiling removes excess grease)

2 pounds sweet sausage, fully cooked, drained

2 pounds basket of cheese, diced

20 eggs (the small pie only used 2 eggs)


Method-

Mix all ingredients.

Roll out a quarter of the dough.

Place the crust in the pie dish. Use a pie dish with handles if you have one. You will want to check the bottom of the pie to see if it is browned.

Add enough of the meat and cheese mixture so you have a nice amount of the filling.



Break and mix 3 eggs (each pie requires 3 eggs) and pour over the top of the meat.



Roll out another ball of the dough. Place on top of the meat. Crimp edges. Cut 3 slits in crust. Bake 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. (I baked mine for at least an hour and 15 minutes). Baking time will depend on how many pies you have in the oven.

Repeat this for the second pie.

 

The crust recipe above is only for 2 pies. I make the crust in small batches. Making enough for 6 pies at once is more than my kitchen or I can handle.  I ended up with extra dough. The crust can go in the freezer. It is "like money in the bank."


When the pies are in the oven keep an eye on overflow. The egg might spill out the slits. It's a good idea to put some foil under the pie dishes on the lower rack. As long as the egg does not spill over your house will smell amazing. 


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