Amid all of the chocolate, candy, and sweets at Easter, a rich and savory pie is a welcome addition to the festivities.
Click here for the recipe and nutritional information, or keep reading!
If you saw my recipe for Easter Rice Pie, you’ll know that both are these pies are based on the traditional Easter pies that my family makes every year. The rice pie is a sweet pie, while the pizza rustica is salty and savory meat, cheese, and egg extravaganza.
“Pizza rustica” simply means “rustic pie” in Italian, and with such a simple description comes the knowledge that for every Italian household comes a slightly different pizza rustica recipe: some very egg-y with a few bit bits of meat and cheese and some mostly meat barely held together with a bit of egg; some with freshly ground meat and some with sausage; some with grated hard cheeses and some with fresh cheese. The list goes on and on. Suffice it to say, what they all have in common is that they are all obviously NOT VEGAN. This is my veganized version of our family recipe.
Full disclosure: this was my very first time making this recipe, and while I think it turned out pretty darn tasty, there were a few things I would change the next time I make it. While the photos are of this first attempt, I’ll talk you through my mistakes, and the recipe at the end is the updated version.
First off, the egg. I am of course using Follow Your Heart VeganEgg as it’s by far the best egg substitute on the market, but it might be worth experimenting with silken tofu if that’s all you can find. I used the equivalent of 9 eggs’ worth of powder, but only 3 cups of ice-cold water.
Next comes the star of the show: meat, and lots of it. Our family recipe consists of a large amount of various Italian lunchmeats: salami, mortadella, prosciutto cotto, etc. For this pizza, we’ll use vegan lunchmeats. You can use whatever varieties you like, though I of course recommend the ones I used. For one pie, you’ll need about four packages total, or around 20 ounces. I used five packages, and that was a bit too much. Therefore, I left the hickory-smoked Tofurky out of the recipe down below. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces. You’ll want to separate out the individual pieces, just so they aren’t all stuck together in little blocks – great activity for small kids, or anyone who owes you a favor.
We use a fresh farmer cheese, so I’ll be using Miyoko’s Creamery Fresh VeganMozz as it is remarkably similar in both texture and flavor. I chopped the whole thing up into rather small pieces (picture below: bottom left), but I didn’t like the gooey pockets it created in the finished pie. I would suggest using half the package, and either whisking or blending it into the egg until it’s a not-quite-smooth, rather “curdled” texture.
Now mix all the meat into the egg and cheese mixture along with a generous sprinkle of salt and lashings of freshly cracked black pepper. As with my Easter Rice Pie, I couldn’t be bothered to make a pie crust (even though I have a super easy and delicious recipe for pie crust here), so I’m just using my favorite lard-free store-bought crusts. Pour the filling into a crust-lined 9″ pie plate. I strongly recommend using a glass pie plate so you can make sure the very bottom is cooked.
Now cover with the second pie crust. You can make this look as pretty as you want/can, but I like it to look a little slap-dash, to be honest. It is rustic pie, after all.
Now bake in your preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for an hour, or until the crust is golden-brown all over. You may need to cover the edges with aluminum foil halfway through.
Look at that clean slice! It’s so rich and hearty and savory.
It is important to note at this point that I realize, between the cheese, meat, and everything else, that this is quite an expensive pie to make, especially as most people do not have a frame of reference or any nostalgia for it. What I can say is that you can absolutely make this half-size, using a 6″ oven dish and half the ingredients. I’d like to say that it can be frozen and reheated at any time, but to be honest, we ate it so fast that I didn’t get the chance to find out! I’m not in any way suggesting that this become regular weeknight dinner; rather, this is a once-a-year celebratory treat, and I really hope you give it a try!
Pizza Rustica | Printable Version
Makes 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 75 minutes
2 ¼ c all-purpose flour
½ t salt
3 oz unsweetened coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
½ c canola oil
18 T (by volume) Follow Your Heart VeganEgg powder
3 c ice-cold water
½ package (4 oz) Miyoko’s Creamery Fresh VeganMozz
1 package Tofurky Peppered Deli Slices
1 package Yves Veggie Salami
1 package Yves Veggie Pepperoni
1 package Yves Veggie Bologna
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)
- For crust, sift or whisk together flour and salt.
- Pour milk and oil into the same measuring cup. DO NOT MIX.
- Pour liquid into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of waxed paper until large enough to fit in a 9” pie plate.
- Transfer one dough round to a 9” glass pie plate, removing the waxed paper.
- For filling, whisk together VeganEgg and water until completely smooth.
- Cut VeganMozz into small chunks and whisk into egg mixture until a nearly smooth, slightly “curdled” consistency.
- Chop lunchmeats into bite-size pieces and separate layers. Mix into egg mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour into pie crust and top with remaining dough round, removing the waxed paper. Crimp edges and poke air holes as desired.
- Bake for one hour, or until crust is golden brown all over. Serve warm or chilled.