Italian Easter Pie /Pizza Rustica (Aka "Ham Pie")

"There are as many variations of this traditional dish as there are names for it (Pizza Rustica, Carnival Pie, Easter Pie and Ham Pie are just a few.) Some versions include hard boiled eggs in the filling along with the meat and cheeses, this one does not. Here is my family's version which I still make every Easter. The pastry we've always used for the crust is more like a bread dough (yeast risen), however your favorite pie crust recipe may be used as well. **Please note the different pan sizes, pan preparations, baking temperatures and baking times depending on which type of crust you choose to use. The "Prep Time" does not include the 2 hour rising time for the yeast dough crust. Note: The 2nd ingredient for the yeast dough crust should be leaf lard (or butter). Recipezaar will not accept the correction and insists on listing it as "leaves lard"."
Italian Easter Pie /Pizza Rustica (Aka "Ham Pie") created by Dee514
Ready In:
1hr 35mins




  • Directions for making and using the yeast dough crust: In a cup, mix yeast and warm water together.
  • Place flour on a pastry board, add leaf lard (or butter), salt, pepper and yeast/water mixture.
  • Work together well until dough forms, continue working the dough until it is elastic and smooth.
  • Place dough in a deep dish, cover and allow it to rise in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled in volume.
  • When dough has risen, cut into 2 pieces.
  • Stretch one piece to fit into a greased 9 x 2 1/2-inch round cake pan.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Prepare filling as described below (steps #19 to #22).
  • After filling the dough lined pan, stretch second piece of dough and place over the filling, pressing the edges closed.
  • If there is a lot of excess dough left on the edge, carefully trim some, but leave enough to flute the sealed edge.
  • (I like to brush the crust with a bit of beaten egg before baking, to give it a gloss.) Directions for using a regular pie crust dough: Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Prepare pastry and line a 10 inch pie pan.
  • Prick dough with a fork, and sprinkle with a bit of flour.
  • Prepare filling as described below (steps #19 to #22).
  • Pour mixture into pastry lined pie tin and cover with top crust.
  • Leave about a 1/2 to 3/4-inch overhang.
  • Fold dough under and back, and flute edge.
  • Cut slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.
  • Directions for making the Filling: Cut sausage into small pieces (or remove from casings and crumble), place in frying pan and brown lightly in 2 Tablespoons of water.
  • In a large bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, salt and pepper; add eggs one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition.
  • Add cooked sausage, prosciutto, ham, parsley and grated cheese to ricotta mixture.
  • Blend well.
  • Fill dough lined pan with mixture.
  • Directions for Baking: For Regular Pie Crust: Bake the pie for 15 minutes in preheated (400°) oven, lower oven temperature to 325°F and continue baking for 45-50 minutes more.
  • Remove from oven and let pie "settle" for about 10 minutes before slicing if you are going to serve it warm; otherwise let pie cool and refrigerate when cooled.
  • Pie can be served either warm or cold.
  • Slices can be reheated in the microwave.
  • For Yeast Dough Crust: Bake the pie in a preheated 375°F oven for 45-50 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let pie "settle" for about 10 minutes before slicing if you are going to serve it warm; otherwise let pie cool and refrigerate when cooled.
  • Pie can be served either warm or cold.
  • Slices can be reheated in the microwave.

Join The Conversation

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  1. nichols.tina1952
    It is exactly what I remember when I helped her make it from the time I was 5. The oooooonly thing different and of course I was only 5 so it made it much more appealing to me....then and now. She put a little sugar in the dough to ease the taste of the salty meats. Honestly, you have to try it. Once I had someone's without and it was blah to me....maybe it's the memories (wink)
  2. lcstm
    Poor instructions and dry sausage does not need to be cooked
  3. MaryAnn M.
    My mom never put sausage it it but bought a fresh ham and put 4 cups of diced ham in it with 10 eggs and every things else added + a little more. We did not use a cake pan but used a 24x30 flat pan . rolled out the big piece of dough put all the ingredients on it and sealed the 3 sides of it and brush with egg for a golden brown top several times during cooking in the oven. My mom made 6 each Easter and fed 4 kids every morning. My mom made this receipt for 60 years. Thank you for posting this receipt. enjoy.
  4. Lmdecasper
    Great recipe!
    • Review photo by Lmdecasper
  5. Lmdecasper
    Used 2#14oz ricotta and 8 eggs adjusted other ingredients 1 and half... placed in large springform pan...used yeast dough recipe as is!



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