Pizza Rustica

Pizza rustica is traditionally served on Easter and for good reason––it is a showstopper and perfect to dish up on a special occasion. Although it takes a little bit of work to prepare, you can make it a day ahead and bring to room temperature before putting it on your holiday table.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 17 hr (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 3 hr
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10
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Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan

6 large eggs and 4 large egg yolks 

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (see Cook's Note) 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen, grated on the large holes of a box grater 

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 3/8 ounces) 

16 ounces whole milk ricotta (about 2 cups) 

One 4-ounce piece prosciutto, finely diced (about 3/4 cup) 

One 6-ounce piece cooked ham (non-smoked), finely diced (about 1 1/4 cups) 

One 6-ounce piece pepperoni, finely diced (about 1 1/4 cups) 

One 6-ounce piece salami, finely diced (about 1 1/4 cups)  

4 ounces provolone, finely diced (about 1 cup)  

6 ounces shredded mozzarella (about 1 1/2 cups) 

Directions

Special equipment:
one 9-inch springform pan
  1. Add the olive oil with 3 of the whole eggs to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add the flour, 2 teaspoons salt and the frozen grated butter to a large bowl and stir and pinch with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg mixture and blend with a wooden spoon until large crumbles form (they should be slightly larger than a pea). Add 1/4 cup cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition until a dough forms.
  2. Transfer the dough to a work surface lightly dusted with flour and knead until the dough is smooth. Form the dough into a large round disk and divide the dough into 2 pieces, two thirds for the bottom crust and one third for the top crust. Shape the dough pieces back into round disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about 45 minutes. (The dough can be refrigerated up to 24 hours at this point but will need to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before rolling.) 
  3. Add 1 of the egg yolks to a small bowl along with 1 teaspoon water. Whisk to combine, then set the egg wash aside. Add the remaining 3 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks to a large bowl along with the Parmesan, ricotta and several heavy grinds black pepper. Whisk until well combined and smooth. Add the prosciutto, ham, pepperoni, salami, provolone and mozzarella and stir until combined. Set aside.  
  4. Position a rack on the lowest shelf in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with olive oil.  
  5. Roll out the larger piece of dough on a flat work surface lightly dusted with flour to a 16-inch round a little less than 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough to the prepared springform pan, pressing the dough into the inside edges and up the sides of the pan, leaving any overhang. Spoon the ricotta mixture into the dough-lined pan and spread it out into an even layer.  
  6. Roll out the remaining piece of dough on a lightly dusted surface into a 13-inch round a little less than 1/8-inch thick. Place this dough over the filling, gently pressing into the filling and the dough at the edges of the pan. Trim the overhang of both doughs flush with the top of the pan. Pinch the edges of the doughs together to seal, then tuck under so they are directly on top of the filling and on the inside of the pan. Brush the reserved egg wash over the top and edges of the dough. Cut four 1-inch slits on the top piece of dough using a paring knife, then place the pan on a baking sheet.  
  7. Bake until the crust is deep golden brown, and a long wooden skewer inserted into one of the slits comes out clean, about 2 hours, rotating the pan once halfway through the cooking time. 
  8. Let stand for 2 hours at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator until completely cooled, at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.  
  9. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before removing the outside ring of the springform pan and transferring the pizza to a serving platter. Cut into wedges to serve.

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)