Phew! March is almost gone, and I am so behind everything I plan and do. My new food photography book manuscripts collaborated with my three colleagues haven't been completed yet and I am so slack on writing for it these days, let alone blogging! But, I have to do this one, as it is my form of commitment to the club and to the girls, since I am the chairman. I don't know if I am allowed to resign ever?
We are baking Torta Pasqualina for KBB#28 challenge, this month hosted by Emma, one of my moderators of the club's mailing list and Amy.
I have no trouble with all the ingredients required, but have to make ricotta cheese myself. I haven't got any in the fridge on the day I want to bake it. So yeah. It's an easy deal.
We have a good crops of silverbeet in the garden. They grow wildly this year. We just let the other year's silverbeet go seeding, and this is what we have got: silverbeet anywhere! But since we love it, we don't mind.
I love the texture of the silverbeet in any dish, but I have gone beyond sauteed them in butter and garlic or eaten as pie filling. I made curry out of silverbeet, just because I miss my mother's cooking, to substitute it for cassava leaves.
Eaten with boiled rice cakes, the silverbeet and prawn curry is delicious!
In the recipe of torta pasqualina, we use silverbeet as the filling, together with eggs as to symbolize Easter itself. I have searched the internet about torta pasqualina. Some traditional pie pastry is made of simply flour, olive oil and salt, but some have used puff pastry or add eggs in the recipe for the dough.
I thought the dough without any emulsifier won't be as soft as those Italian pastry for tortellini. However, I give it a go.
Have ready 600g flour, put it in the bowl with a pinch of salt and make a well in the centre and add in 6 Tbs olive oil. Mix well and pour in cold water just to give a nice soft dough. Knead it for 10 minutes until pliable and glossy. Divide into 14 balls, let rest for an hour. I found that it is important to leave the dough a rest as to let the gluten to relax and make it softer.
Meanwhile make the filling. We will need 1kg of silverbeet, wash, and dry. Cook it in the salted water until it just wilted and retain its colour. I have ready a bowl of iced water and plunge these silverbeet in there to stop it from cooking. Drained, squeezed gently and chopped. Mix it well with 400g ricotta cheese, 50g grated Parmesan, herbs (marjoram and parsley, 2 tsps each), minced garlic and two whole eggs, and salt and pepper to season.
Prepare a 22cm round cake tin, oiled.
Now, we are going to work on making the pie pastry, with 7 rolled dough balls on top and 7 more to go on top. Take one ball, flatten it, and roll out as thinly as possible. Later result had taught me to roll it as thin as a paper, but holy ghost, it is hard to achieve, unless I use my pastry machine--which I didn't bother. Put the rolled pastry on the oiled cake tin, let it overhang the cake tin rim. Oil the rolled dough.
Proceed with the rest of the 6 other dough balls until the sides and bottom of cake tin is all covered by rolled pastry.
Place the filling to cover the bottom pastry. Make 8 indentations to put the eggs. Crack an egg at a time to fill each indentation, season each egg with salt and peper--I sprinkled smoked celery salt on each egg as well. Sprinkle the whole filling with 50g grated Parmesan.
Topped with 7 remain rolled dough. Decorate as you wish.
My torta was too thick on the top and it goes really hard after baked. It's quite crispy which my children didn't mind to peel and eaten it as a 'dough crackers'.
The filling tastes so-so. I quite like to sautee chopped brown onion and garlic in butter before adding to the filling mixture, that will bring the filling a little bit more shout out. Just my two cents.
We had the torta with my homemade smoked paprika plum sauce.
Fillingnya sih ok, tapi keras kulitnya, apalagi bagian atas karena ditumpuk2 gitu. Sayang sih kalo musti buang2 adonan. Lain kali aku pakai phyllo atau puff pastry aja nih bikin torta ini.