Italian Easter Spinach Pie

By Tara Hoot, 4P Foods Member

Italian Easter Spinach Pie image

This absolutely delicious Italian Spinach Pie tastes fresh and lovely, and it looks gorgeous–just like you! It makes for a light meal or a great appetizer to accompany friends at your table. Don't be intimidated by the steps. Feel free to buy store-bought pie crusts to save time. 

INGREDIENTS

FOR CRUST

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 ⅔ cup cold butter
  • 3 eggs (all eggs from 4P, too!)
  • 3 (or more) tablespoons of ice water

FOR FILLING

 NOTE: This is enough filling for 2 ‘normal’ sized pies, or one large pie as seen in the photo and video. 

  • 32 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 16 oz chopped fresh spinach, wilted, drained 
  • 1 6 oz package shredded mozzarella, parmesan, provolone mix
  • 1 large onion/
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped/sauteed 
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 (You’ll need 4 more eggs to break into the pie for a dramatic interior, darlings! Check out the video!) 

DIRECTIONS

MAKING THE DOUGH: Stir together flour and salt in a large bowl or food processor. I usually add the butter pieces into the spinning food processor until incorporated. You can also add butter pieces by hand, rubbing together using your fingers until evenly incorporated and mixture resembles cornmeal. *If using a food processor, transfer to a bowl and continue.*

Beat 3 eggs in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of flour mixture; add beaten eggs, and stir with a fork to combine. Stir in 3 tablespoons ice water. Continue adding up to 2 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a shaggy dough forms. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Unwrap chilled dough; Split the dough into ⅔ and ⅓ if using springform, or into 1/4s for two ‘normal’ sized pies. Place on a lightly floured work surface, and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. The larger one will be the bottom piece. This is enough dough for a bottom and top layer in a 9 inch springform pan, or probably enough dough for 2 pies, bottom and top, in a regular sized pie pan.

If the dough is ready to be rolled, preheat oven to 375 degrees

MAKING THE FILLING: Saute chopped onion and garlic over medium heat in a bit of olive oil. Saute until translucent and soft. In a large bowl, mix ricotta, chopped spinach, shredded cheese and sauteed onion/garlic. Taste, add salt and pepper or other preferred spices–a bit of nutmeg might be nice! Thoroughly mix in 2 eggs.

Put bottom layer of pie crust into your chosen pie pan. Spoon mixture into pie shell. Scoop out 4 indentations (enough for a raw egg to be cracked into it) and then, you guessed it, crack an egg into each indentation. If you’re a stickler for perfectly round eggs, you can hard boil the 4 eggs before and place them in the pie.

Cover pie with other pie crust. Crimp edges. TIP: Whatever pie pan you are using, both bottom and top crusts should extend beyond the pie plate so you have enough dough to crimp and seal the pie. If using a springform pan, I find that when I crimp, I crimp it towards the middle of the pie so that the crust doesn’t hang over the outside of the springform. If the pie dough hangs over, the crust may break off when you release the spring form.

It’s rustic, so it’s ok if it’s not perfectly gorgeous. I tend to decorate the pie crust with extra dough–leaves, sunbeams, flowers, etc. You can put the decorations on top of the pie between the eggs underneath so you know where to slice so that each piece will have a bit of the egg! If you’d like, use an egg wash on top of the pie crust–I usually just whisk one egg with a tablespoon of cold water and brush it on top.

BAKING TIME! 

If you’re baking a springform pie, plan on at least 90 minutes. I’ve done this a few times, and sometimes it comes out perfectly and sometimes it comes out a little underdone in the center, so err on baking a bit longer. If using a regular pie pan, plan on about 45 minutes of baking.

Slice and enjoy!