The Torta di Pasqua Umbra is a traditional recipe from Umbria. In every family there is somebody, young or old, male or female, that will make sure to bake enough of them for the Easter breakfast for you, the relatives and the neighbour.s It’s a rich and tasty cheese bread that goes well with all kinds of cold cuts like capocollo, prosciutto crudo, salame or my favorite, la coppa di muso (cheese head). Tradition also requires to boil some 12 eggs and uncork a bottle of red wine. A good Sangiovese will do. Leave the Sagrantino di Montefalco for later, when you’ll have lamb for lunch.
This recipe will make 2 pies. Because if you go through the trouble of grating and dicing that much cheese you may as well bake two pies, so that you can share. My grandma used to tell stories about cracking more than 100 eggs and use a wood oven that would fit 2 pigs sideways. Legends that are carried on these days too, as I know several people that would take days off work to bake.
Welcome to the Cheesedome!
- 12 eggs
- 3 pounds of flour
- 8 ounces of lard
- 1/2 pint EVOO
- 1/2 pint milk
- 1.7 ounces of fresh yeast
- 1 ounce of salt
- ground pepper to taste (1/2 tablespoon)
- 3.5 ounces Pecorino cheese grated
- 3.5 ounces Pecorino cheese diced
- 7 ounces Parmigiano grated
- 3.5 ounces Parmigiano diced
- 3.5 ounces Gruyere cheese diced
- To prepare the Torta di Pasqua Umbra, mix 12 eggs in a bowl and set aside.
- Warm up the milk and melt the yeast in it. Let it grow for a bit.
- In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, salt and pepper. The gradually pour the milk, the olive oil and the lard.
- Now it’s time for the eggs and the grated cheese. It will become a thick mix that you should start mixing by hand or with a kitchenaid mixer.
- Cover your bowl and let the mix rest for a couple of hours.
- The dough should rise quite a bit. Work it again by folding in the diced cheese. You should then split the mix and put it in 2 or 3 greased deep cake baking pans, about 8″ diameter and 4″ deep or more. You should fill the pan halfway and leave room for final raising.
- Let it raise for 5-6 hours, until it reaches the edge of the pan.
- Bake at 380F for at least 1 hour at the bottom shelf. The pie should get a nice blond color. Internal temperature should be close to 200F.
- Let it rest on a cooling rack and then use a knife to help de-touch the edges and borders from the pan.