Anna Imperato's Sweet Eggplant Pie

Mary Ann Esposito

SERVES 8 TO 10

Anna and Silvia Imperato make use of the locally grown and produced products from around their family home in Montevetrano. This unusual recipe reflects their unique style. Eggplant marmalade! What a novel way to preserve and use this versatile vegetable when they are ripening faster than you can eat them. If it's not one of your favorite vegetables, this recipe may make a convert out of you. Or you can substitute canned squash or citrus marmalade instead.

PASTRY DOUGH

1 3/4 to 2 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 ounces (1 stick less 1 tablespoon) butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon lard (If you prefer not to use lard, increase butter by 1 teaspoon.)
2 egg yolks from large eggs
Zest from 1 lemon

In a bowl, mix together 1 3/4 cups of the flour, salt, and the sugar. Add the butter and lard and work it in with your hands or a pastry blender until the mixture is the texture of coarse cornmeal. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, adding the zest with the second yolk, and gently mix just until you have a dough that holds together. Add extra flour by the tablespoon if the dough is too wet. Add ice water by the half-teaspoon if the dough is too dry. Do not overmix. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight before using.

EGGPLANT MARMALADE

1 1/2 cup minced eggplant
Juice and zest from 2 large lemons (You may also use oranges, or one of each.)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water

Combine the eggplant and juice in a heavy saucepan; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the zest, sugar, and water. Bring back to the boil and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.

Cool and then put the mixture into a sterilized jar and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

FILLING

1 1/2 cups well-drained ricotta cheese (12 ounces)
1 yolk from a large egg
1/4 cup eggplant marmalade
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
Zest of 1 lemon or more if desired
2 tablespoons diced citron
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Mix together the first 5 filling ingredients with a fork or hand mixer. Mix in the zest, citron, pine nuts and cinnamon with a wooden spoon. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

When ready to assemble the tart, divide the dough in half, and roll it into a circle between 2 sheets of parchment paper. The circle should be large enough for a 10-inch tart pan, pie pan or a shallow layer cake pan. The bottom sheet of parchment paper can go right into the pan. This eliminates the need for extra flour when rolling out the pastry and facilitates removing the tart from the pan before cutting it into serving pieces. Roll the dough out so that there will be a 1-inch overhang when it is fitted into the pan.

Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and place the bottom sheet of parchment with the rolled crust on top of it into the pan. Center the dough and gently mold it into the shape of the pan. Add the filling and smooth it in the pan so there are no air holes.

Roll the top sheet of dough out, using the same technique as for the bottom sheet. If you want a solid top crust, cut a few vent holes in the circle of dough. Place the circle of dough over the edge of the rolling pin and gently roll half of the dough onto the pin. Lift the pin and center the dough over the filled pie. Unroll the rest of the dough to cover the pie. Trim the overhang to 1 inch and turn over the bottom and top overhangs to make a decorative edging for the pie. Any leftover scraps of dough may be used to make decorations for the top of the pie. Or you may make a lattice top, using a pastry cutter to make strips of dough.

Bake for 1 hour. Cool for at least 1 hour before cutting into serving-size pieces.

item recipe is featured in Episode 0 of Season 0.

Want More Recipes? See My Latest Book:

Buy Ciao Italia Family Classics by Mary Ann EspositoCiao Italia Family Classics

Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.

Buy it now from Amazon for just $24.00

Buy It From Amazon

A Testimonial From Mario Batali:

This collection epitomizes the tradition and love that goes into all of Mary Ann Esposito's cooking. Like her award-winning TV series, this book will live on for years with all of those who cook her delicious recipes. My kids love everything Mary Ann cooks!"

Comments

Leave a comment

  1. VulcanDeathGrip's avatar

    VulcanDeathGrip

    | Permalink
    I finally made it! It took me two days making it during the evenings; the first night for the marmalade and pastry and the second night to finish. I used every type of citrus zest I had -- lemon, orange, even grapefruit -- when needed, and for some reason I ran out of cocoa powder so I used 1/8 cup of cook-&-serve pudding mix. Didn't use citron or pine nuts, and I used a pie plate because I don't have a tart pan. The pie is worth every minute of work! It's a revelation; my boyfriend eats it for breakfast. Thank you for this recipe; I have enjoyed it very much.
  2. VulcanDeathGrip's avatar

    VulcanDeathGrip

    | Permalink
    I made this again! I have eggplant marmalade leftover from last year's attempt at the recipe. I used only orange zest this time and all cocoa powder, which gave it a deeper flavor than the part pudding mix I used last time. I didn't do a top crust because I was worn out from rolling the bottom crust. This pie is even more awesome the second time. Highly, highly recommended!

Leave a Comment