Saturday, April 9, 2022

Mom's Pizzagaina

Today I baked my Mom's Meat Pie Recipe.

I made the pie dough last Saturday. Froze the packets of dough until Thursday night.

Last night I cooked the sausage, boiled the pepperoni, and diced the pepperoni, ham, and basket cheese. Everything was ready to go this morning.

I started rolling out the first crust at 8:45am. I took the last pie out of the oven at 2:30pm.

Seven pies in total. I think I did the math correctly as to how many pies are needed. As long as I can put one in the freezer for Easter in July we will be good.

No problem securing the ingredients this year. I would like to send a special thank you to the 2 deli people at Big Y who expertly sliced the ham and pepperoni to my exacting specifications!

Here is the only recipe I use-

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

Sift the flour, salt, and pepper together 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 of the ice water to make a workable dough, mixing water in 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. Scrape up the smeared dough into a ball, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Eleanor Lombardi's Pizzagaina (This recipe will make 7 pies)
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 cheese, diced
3 eggs per pie

Method (written for baking 2 pies)-
Mix all ingredients. Roll out a quarter of the dough. Place the crust in a 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 half of the meat and cheese mixture to the dish. Break and mix 3 eggs (each pie requires 3 eggs) and pour over the top of the meat. Roll out another quarter of the dough. Place on top of the meat. Crimp edges. Cut 3 slits in the crust. Bake 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. (I baked mine for an hour and 15 minutes). Repeat this for the second pie.
With the meat recipe, you may end up with enough for more than the two pies. Let's just say it is one of those Easter miracles. I usually make enough dough for 6 pies just in case.  The crust recipe above is only for 2 pies. I prefer to make the crust in small batches. Making enough for 6 pies at once is more than my kitchen or I can handle.  The crust can go in the freezer so 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 may be 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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