Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Pizza Rustica : 'TWD: Baking with Julia'

With Easter Sunday round the corner, the 'TWD:Baking with Julia' group set its sight on the Pizza Rustica for our bake-together. Before we go any further, let me tell you upfront, it's not a pizza...it's a pie!! A little research on the Internet revealed that it is a traditional, rustic pie made in Italy at Easter. After a month of fasting and abstinence during Lent, this quiche is made for Easter Sunday and is loaded with cheeses and meats.

While I understand the sentiment behind the overload of meat and cheese in the pie after a month of abstaining from them,  with the mercury soaring out here in India, I was more in the mood for something lighter and vegetarian. So, I decided to travel down the Mediterranenan coast from Italy and take inspiration from the Greek spinach pie, Spanakopita and zeroed in on a filling of spinach, ricotta and feta cheese.


When I read the recipe I did find it odd that the pastry crust of a savoury pie should have sugar in it. Despite the book's assurance that the sweet dough is a nice contrast to the salty, meat and cheese-laden filling, I wasn't too convinced.  So, I cut down the sugar to just a tablespoon in the crust-dough and kept the filling a mix of ricotta, sauteed spinach and feta cheese.

And instead of making one big pie, I made smaller versions so that each pie was more like an individual serving. Following the rest of the recipe was a breeze and I think, the idea of a lattice on top was a good touch.. it definitely added to the visual appeal!!


And now for the verdict -- the pie was good, absolutely no complaints with it..although I'll be honest enough to say that it was nothing that spectacular that I would want to come back to it. While I had reduced the sugar and there was just a hint of it in the pastry, it's something you can easily do away with, in my opinion. The filling was a good choice, much lighter than I had anticipated and the feta giving it the required sharpness.

So, all in all, it was a good pie.. not a pizza.. a pie!! Come to think of it, I still don't why it's called a pizza..are pizzas and pies one and the same thing for the Italians?!?!


Due to copyright considerations, only the person hosting the recipe for the group 'TWD:Baking with Julia' can post the recipe on their blog. The recipe for the pizza rustica will be available on the blogs of Emily and Raelynn. Alternately, you can write to me at bakerindisguise@gmail.com and I will mail you the recipe.

44 comments:

  1. Your pie looks perfect, great idea to add in feta cheese and spinach, I did like the sweet crust but this wasn't either a WOOOOW recipe for me!!!

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    1. Thanks Mireia!! I just couldnt get convinced on the sweet crust..especially since mine was vegetarian.. maybe its a good contrast to a salty meat....

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  2. I like your smaller pie idea. And the spinach and feta sounds like something I would try. How much spinach did you use?

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    1. Hi Pamkaren...For 200 gms ricotta...I used about 150 gms spinach. I wilted the spinach and then sauteed it with some chopped onions in butter.. before mixing it with the ricotta and feta!! it turned out great!!

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  3. I love your crust and the green color is beautiful! This was a great recipe!

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    1. Thank you 'Flourchild'!! :) I gave the lattice a milk wash and that gave it a good glaze!!

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  4. Your pies and photos are beautiful! I liked your version of the recipe much better, I wish I put feta and spinach to mine instead..

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    1. Thank you ferda!! :) although i was quite taken in with your version of olives and sun-dried tomatoes...

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  5. Your pies look great and I love your additions. I too cut the sugar way down and was pleased with the results. This is not something I would do again, there are too many other things to try.

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    1. So true jane... it was a good pie.. just not something you will keep coming back to.. although i think the lattice was a good idea for a pie..

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  6. It might not have tasted WOW but it looks terrific. Your latice is perfect! And what a pretty green color your filling had!

    I also wanted to let you know that I've given you the Liebster Award! You can check out the details here: http://adventuresceb.blogspot.com/2012/04/liebster-award-and-not-quite-fried-rice.html. I hate leaving links to my own site in other people's comments but there's no helping it this time.

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    1. Oh gosh..Tierney..I really don't know what to say..I actually read your message twice.. i am so humbled.. for someone who thought that no one besides her mother and sister would read her posts..i can't believe it...Thank you thank you soo much!!! :)

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  7. I love the single serving size! That would make for a wonderful brunch idea.

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    1. Well.. thats an idea that didnt even cross my mind!! Thanks Cathleen!! :)

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  8. I love your personalization of this recipe! The spinach and feta, reduced sugar, and personal-size all work great!

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    1. Thanks susan... i just didnt want to go down the cheese and meat route.. it sounded too heavy for the hot weather we've been experiencing out here!! this variation turned out much lighter...

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  9. Your pies/pizzas are also very nice. I like that they are more greener than mines. And it is nice that everyone had its own mini pie/pizza. :))

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    1. Thanks Emese.. I think we're all gaining in confidence with each passing recipe... and thats why the variations with the recipe!! I think the forum where we discuss the recipe really helps!!

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  10. Your pies so so pretty! I love the idea of mini ones. I also like your addition of vegetables. I think that's what I'd do next time so I feel at least a little bit healthy.

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    1. Thanks Sara!! the excess of meat and cheese would have been just too much in this weather...

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  11. Your photos are fabulous . Are you a professional photographer? Looks yummy
    Lisa

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    1. Thank you Lisa for such lovely words!! You made my day!!! :))... No.. I'm just an amateur.. still finding my way around with photographs.. my earlier posts have me mentioning how i struggle with photographs on my compact camera.. am still learning.. its a lot of hit-and-miss with these photographs..but your words made my day!!:)

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  12. These look sooo delicious, I love the little version! I am jealous of your wash on your crust, it made it so beautiful! I have decided that Italians have weird names for things. They name breads after slippers and call pies pizza??

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    1. Haha.. Thanks Amanda!! i learnt after the rugelach that a wash on a crust adds tremendously to the visual appeal of any kind of crust!!

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  13. Your pies look great, and I love the individual servings, so cute!

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  14. Your pies are absolutely beautiful & I really like your choice of fillings.

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    1. Thank you Cher!! :) so much for the pizza we were all expecting....

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  15. I love how the green from spinach is peeking through the lattice of your pizza rustica!

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    1. Aww.. thanks ovenchaos.. still can't get over your tri-layer pie..er..pizza!!! :)

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  16. The crust has come out beautifully and love the personal portions :). and such great clicks!

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  17. Thank you 'Simple Baking'!! Good seeing you here!! Come again!! :)

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  18. I love the idea of individual little pies. Next time I might try this with spinach as well.

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    1. You should PetitPlat...it was really good with the spinach..especially with the feta that had been added for sharpness!!

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  19. I love the idea of spinach and feta in a pie,I totally agree with you. This is no pizza, it's a pie and a yummy looking one

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    1. Thanks Sawsan!! Good to see you here!! :)

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  20. Just found your blog and I am in love! So many delicious pictures!!

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    1. Awww.. Thank you!! Thats the best thing any blogger would love to hear!!! :) Talking about delicious pictures... your blog has more than its fair share of beautiful ones! Come again!! :)

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  21. oh what delectable treats - lovely pictures as well...your point and shoot does wonders - maybe its you only after all - epicurious and Εικόναrious :)

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    1. See thats why you need friends... especially the oldest ones... they pay you the best compliments!!:) Thank god for digital photography... where the camera does all the work and you can pass it off as your work!!! :)

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  22. What beautiful little pies!!

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    1. Thank you alicia!! Heading over to see yours!! :)

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  23. Spinach and cheese pie sounds so fabulous! It's pretty, too. I don't think I've ever come across a green pie before!

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    1. That was a happy accident kate!! Instead of mixing the ricotta and spinach by hand..i pulsed it a few times in the processor.. thinking it will just mix together..instead parts of it mixed a bit too well.. and thats the green colour you see!!! It's good to see you here.. Come by again!! :)

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