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Such a simple recipe, turns into a beautiful Lattice Top Luncheon Pie, filled with herbed cheese and fresh Spring vegetables!

lattice top luncheon pie

WHAT’S PRETTY INSIDE & OUT, AND IS SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS?

That would be my recipe for Lattice Top Luncheon Pie!  With its Parmesan-Chive crust, this luncheon tart is doubly-delicious when filled with a ricotta-Gouda mixture, and laced with fresh asparagus, red bell pepper and caramelized shallots.

lattice top luncheon pieOn the day I baked this Lattice Top Luncheon Pie, I had neglected to eat breakfast.  While it was baking away, the aroma of the Parmesan-Chive crust was driving me to distraction.

I knew it was taking over the whole house when H.H. came cruising through the kitchen more than once to “check-in”.

Now, you must realize, we can’t just sit down and enjoy a dish that I’m featuring here for my readers.

It has to be photographed, and not just once, either.  First, I need shots of the whole pie, but in several different presentations (for Pinterest, of course!).  Next, some shots of it cut too.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to have our salad made before the photo shoot. So I didn’t get a shot of a slice on a plate with salad.  Oh well, next time! 

Luckily for H.H., this recipe for Lattice Top Luncheon Pie is just as delicious at room temperature as it is warm! 

In fact, I prefer it after the filling has “set up” a bit from cooling, and it slices like a dream!  Either way you decide to serve this lovely entree, it will become a real favorite with your family and friends.

 

LET’S START WITH THE PARMESAN-CHIVE CRUST

I am a big fan of making my pie crust a day or so before I plan to bake it off in a recipe.  Since I make most of my pie lattice top luncheon piedough recipes in a food processor, it makes sense to prepare multiple crusts while I’m at it.

Then I’ll individually wrap and freeze the extra dough packages to have ready for a quick dessert or quiche.  (just thaw in the refrigerator in the wrapper)

Even if you’re only preparing the dough for one Lattice Top Luncheon Pie, you might want to make it the day before.

The dough requires chilling for at least a few hours before it can be easily rolled out. 

 

FIRST, PREPARE YOUR BAKING PAN FOR SUCCESS

And by that, I mean you need to line your 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches overhang.  This gives you two “handles” with which to take the pie out of the pan in one piece after baking.  

NAN’S TIP – Use baby binder clips to hold the parchment paper out of your way while working with the raw crust.

The parchment paper is strictly for making handles.  It isn’t really for keeping the crust from sticking at all, it’s far too short for that. 

A “short” dough refers to one that has a high proportion of fat, like the butter AND shortening in this recipe.  

I will say this though, a healthy pie crust, one with little fat, is usually a tough and tasteless one.  Now, having said that, since we don’t indulge too often, I go for the “full-fat”, yummy version every time!

 

A REAL HOSTESS-HELPER RECIPE  – Prep the components the day before baking and serving

Lattice Top Luncheon Pie was created with a Mother’s Day Lunch in mind.  

I was thinking it would be lovely served as the entree at a seated lunch.  Then it occurred to me it would also be great, cut into smaller portions, and served as part of a buffet meal also.

It’s just so versatile, and can be made in stages to keep the “day of party” prep to a minimum!  A harried hostess has to lattice top luncheon pielove that, right?

After you place the Parmesan-Chive crust dough in the pan and prick it with a fork, it’s par-baked until golden brown.

Now, at this stage of the recipe, you can keep the crust covered with plastic wrap at room-temperature, overnight if desired. 

The “lattice” dough strips will keep nicely overnight in the refrigerator if covered tightly with plastic wrap.

As for the cheese and vegetable filling, it can be prepared the day before and refrigerated too.

Making the components the day before makes Lattice Top Luncheon Pie a snap to assemble and bake fresh the day you want to serve it.

And, if you make your Parmesan-Chive crust dough a few days before that, you’ve got some real “super-hostess” powers going on inside your refrigerator!

 

RICOTTA, PARMESAN & GOUDA CHEESES MAKE AN AWESOME FILLING

Parmesan-Chive crust

Now I’m sure you’ve seen some savory cheese tart and pie recipes that use ricotta and Parmesan for their filling.

It’s a great combination that’s mild enough to let the other ingredients shine.  

This recipe goes a bit further and uses a full cup of Gouda cheese that adds a different dimension to the pie’s final taste profile.

Blanching the fresh asparagus intensifies the color and ensures it’s perfectly cooked in the finished Lattice Top Luncheon Pie.  

Then you saute some diced prosciutto until crispy and use that fat to caramelize some shallots.  Does that sound good to you?  It’s just fabulous, I pinkie promise!

The red bell pepper is diced, but is added to the cheese filling raw, instead of being sauteed with the shallots.  I found that the red pepper pieces got mushy if they were cooked before adding them to the filling. Live and learn, that’s why we test our recipes!

NAN’S TIP: Make sure you taste the filling and adjust the seasonings before adding the raw egg “binder” to the mixture.  

 

ASSEMBLING YOUR LATTICE TOP LUNCHEON PIE

The wonderful thing about this Parmesan-Chive crust dough is it’s a really forgiving and “stress-free” recipe.lattice top luncheon pie

It produces a sturdy, yet deliciously tender dough that allows you to present the pie on a platter without it falling apart.  I love that!

Turns out I have a wicker platter that has a square indentation that perfectly fit the tart.  Go figure!

Once you’ve got the filling inside your par-baked Parmesan-Chive crust, you’ll weave your refrigerated lattice dough strips on top.

When the lattice pattern is finished, just trim off the excess dough to meet the edge of the bottom crust.

IF YOU WANT A PRETTY TOP, USE MY FAVORITE PASTRY “WASH” COMBO – Egg yolk and heavy cream!

Now that the Lattice Top Luncheon Pie has it’s top crust in place, you’ll want to give it a good “wash”.  No, not that kind of wash! 

When you beat together an egg yolk with heavy cream, magic happens.  When brushed on your lattice strips and bottom crust edges, it allows the top crust to brown nicely, without over-baking.

lattice top luncheon pie

 

LATTICE TOP LUNCHEON PIE LOOKS LIKE YOU MADE A FUSS

No one has to know that you made it over two days and it was soooo easy!

roasted strawberry banana buttermilk sherbetI love to make a recipe that comes out so fabulous and looks like it took a ton of effort.  Despite my love of entertaining at home and cooking for friends and family, I’ll use every shortcut I can devise!

That’s what keeps entertaining fun, and not stressful.

If you’re serving Lattice Top Luncheon Pie for a Mother’s Day lunch as I have planned, you need only add a nice crisp White Wine, a fresh salad, and dessert.  

For the dessert, may I suggest some Roasted Strawberry Banana Buttermilk Sherbet

The roasting process intensifies the flavor of the fruits, making this sherbet a fruity, but not-too-sweet taste treat.

 

WANNA KNOW WHAT I DID WITH MY LEFTOVER PARMESAN-CHIVE CRUST DOUGH?

As my loyal readers know, I don’t like to waste food, especially a lovely dough like this one.  I tell you all about how I used it up inleftover magic this post: Leftover Magic – How to Create New Meals From Old Leftovers.

And now I suppose you want to know how I used those leftover egg whites from my Lattice Top Luncheon Pie recipe.

Nothing earth shattering, or Martha Stewart-like.  I  whipped up some scrambled eggs for our Boston Terrier, April!  We spoil her terribly!

 

 

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lattice top luncheon pie

Lattice-Top Luncheon Pie

Yield: 9 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes

A pretty entree to serve for a Ladies Luncheon or any Summer party. It's a great make-ahead recipe to help the harried hostess!

Ingredients

  • DOUGH
  • 4 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2-3/4 cup ICE WATER
  • 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled, in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chives, chopped
  • FILLING
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • 8 oz. thin sliced prosciutto, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp., each salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup Gouda cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large whole egg + 2 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs. heavy cream

Instructions

DOUGH

  1. Put flour, cheese, chives, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add butter and shortening and pulse a few more times, or until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. With the machine running, pour ice water through the feed tube gradually, JUST until the dough holds together. (LESS IS MORE HERE!)
  2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Divide in half, and form into 2 flattened squares. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic, and chill at least 3 hours or overnight before using. (I always make the dough the day ahead)


ROLL OUT DOUGH

  1. Line a 9-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2" overhang on two sides. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out one piece of the chilled dough into a 14-inch square, about 1/8 inch thick. Sweep off any excess flour with a pastry brush. Fit the dough into the prepared pan, making sure to press it into the corners. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork.
  2. Roll out the second piece of dough into another 14" square and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips with a pizza or pastry wheel cutter. Transfer the dough strips (still on parchment) to a baking sheet. Chill the pie shell and dough strips for 30 minutes, or until firm. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

PAR-BAKE DOUGH

  1. Remove pastry shell (only) from the refrigerator and place a piece of parchment over shell, leaving a 1" overhang. Add pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges just begin to brown, about 15 minutes; remove parchment and weights. Return to oven; continue baking until the edges turn light golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool completely on a wire rack.


FILLING PREP

1. In a large pot of salted, boiling water, blanch the asparagus; 1 minute for thin and 2 minutes for thicker stalks. Drain and immediately plunge in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain when completely cooled, cut into 1 pieces and lay on a clean, dry paper towel.

2. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat; add Prosciutto and cook until the edges are just getting crispy. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

3. Reduce the heat to medium-low; add shallots and salt & pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4-6 minutes. Add sugar, stir to coat shallots and turn heat up to medium. Cook, stirring constantly until the shallots begin to caramelize, 3-4 minutes more. Remove from heat.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Gouda, Parmesan, asparagus, shallots, red bell pepper, prosciutto and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste. (SEE NOTE) In a small bowl, lightly beat the whole egg and one yolk. Add eggs to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.

ASSEMBLY

1. Spread filling evenly into cooled pie shell, smoothing top. Weave dough strips on top to form a lattice. Using kitchen shears, trim dough flush with the top of the pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg yolk and the cream; brush egg wash over the lattice top and the par-baked edges of the pastry shell.

2. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes (if edges or top of crust browns too quickly, loosely cover with aluminum foil.) Cool slightly on a wire rack. Using parchment paper overhang, gently lift pie out of pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

3. The pie is best eaten the same day it's baked. It can be kept, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Notes

*Taste for seasoning before adding raw egg to the mixture.

Nutrition Information
Yield 9 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 957Total Fat 39gSaturated Fat 19gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 183mgCarbohydrates 72gFiber 4gSugar 3gProtein 34g
 

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