It's that time of year again when we finally start seeing warmer weather in Chicagoland - “Yeah Right”. It is also time to celebrate one of my favorite holidays: Easter.
The tradition in my family on Easter has always been about food and family. I myself grew up in an Italian household that always had food traditions that were made for specific holidays. The tradition for Easter has always been for dinner Manicotti and for breakfast Easter bread and Easter Calzone, or what some Italians call Easter Pie.
I want to share with you all my personal family recipes for my Easter Calzone.
Now there are two ways you can go about this: the easy way or the traditional way. If you want to go about this the easy way, just go to your local grocery store and get pre-made pie crust. If you want the traditional way, follow these instructions on how to make the crust from scratch.
4½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs, beaten
¾ cups cream
The filling is very simple. It's made with Italian sausage, Ricotta and Pecorino Romano cheese, and eggs.
Some recipes might call for salami and ham, but I use only crumbled Italian sausage.
Pecorino Romano and Ricotta Cheese
Prepare the dough: In a food processor, combine 4½ cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Pulse to combine. With the processor on, add the butter cubes through the feed tube a few at a time. Process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the beaten eggs through the feed tube, followed by the cream. Process until dough is formed. Turn dough out on a lightly floured work area and work the dough until it is smooth. If the dough seems too wet, work in additional flour. Cover the dough with plastic food wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine all of the meat, cheeses (Ricotta and Pecorino Romano), and 4 eggs hard-boiled and chopped up. Add 4 cracked eggs uncooked. Add garlic, salt, parsley, and black pepper. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Divide the dough into two pieces. You will need two-thirds of the dough for the bottom and side of the pan and the remaining third for the top.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the larger portion of dough into a 13-inch circle. Carefully transfer the rolled-out dough to a 10-inch pan that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Using your fingers, press the dough into the pan leaving a slight overhang on all of the edges.
Pour the meat and egg cheese mixture into the pan and smooth it out using an offset spatula.
Roll out the remaining piece of dough into an 11-inch circle. Moisten the edge of the overhanging dough with cream and then set the rolled-out dough on top of the filled pan. Trim off excess dough along the edges and crimp the sides. Using a fork, prick several sets of holes across the top of the dough to allow steam to escape during baking.
If you like, you can make decorative cutouts with the remaining dough and decorate the top of the pastry.
Brush the top of the pastry with heavy whipping cream.
Bake for approximately 1 hour until the crust is nicely browned. Let the pie cool completely before serving.
I hope you all enjoy this family recipe. I would love to hear about some of your family's food traditions on Easter.
© Frank S ChicagoFoodKing, 2022. All Rights Reserved.