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When I saw pizza rustica on the Tuesdays With Dorie: Baking with Julia schedule I was excited. I love pizza! However, I’ve learned since then that pizza rustica is a little more like a quiche than pizza. I enjoyed learning about a new dish and practicing some more pie making skills. I’m not sure this dish is up my alley though.

Pizza rustica is a savory Italian pie with a buttery sugar dough. You can find the recipe at this week’s hosts: Capital Region Dining and The Place They Call Home. This recipe is made in a 9 inch pie pan which is somewhat unusual compared to the other pizza rustica recipes I’ve come across.

I used my food processor to make the dough. I thought it was extremely easy to make and work with. I let mine chill in the refrigerator for a bit even though the recipe didn’t call for it.

I stuck pretty close to the original recipe for the filling. It calls for ricotta, eggs, Pecorino Romano, mozzarella, prosciutto, parsley, and black pepper. I typically avoid pork simply because I don’t enjoy the taste. So I subbed the more family-pleasing pepperoni for the prosciutto.

I’m still learning a lot about rolling out and transferring dough. Pie dough has always intimidated me. So I have just plain avoided making pies for the most part. I want that to change though! Some useful tips that have been helpful as I’ve ventured into the pie-making arena:

  • keep the dough moving as you roll it
  • use flour as needed to help prevent the dough from sticking
  • don’t push your rolling pin all the way off the edges and stop a little beforehand. This helps the edges from becoming too thin.

No problems with the pizza rustica dough.  After rolling the crust, I folded it onto itself and transferred it to my pyrex pie plate.

This recipe was a great excuse to buy another kitchen gadget–a fluted pastry cutter! So I cut 12 strips for the top and layered 6 each way in a criss-cross fashion.

I baked the pizza rustica at 350 degrees F. for about 40 minutes. Since this is a dish eaten at room temperature, I let it sit for a few hours before I served it as a first course with dinner.

My verdict: this is not going into my regular rotation of recipes. While I loved the ease and flavor of the sweet crust I was not a fan of the savory baked ricotta filling. Something about the texture was off-putting to me. Maybe I disliked eating it at room temperature. I thought it was much better the next day when I warmed it up.

It was an interesting baking adventure just the same! Have you ever made or eaten pizza rustica before? Am I the only one to not absolutely love it? What do you think of this dish?

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