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Fiadone
fiadone Abruzzesse
Fiadone Abruzzese (Baked Easter sharp cheese pastries, without sugar, with pepper)
Originated from: Abruzzo, Italy
Occasion: Easter
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

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Ingredients

For pastry crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg

For Filling
2 cups ricotta
1/3 cup Pecorino cheese, grated
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For brushing
1 egg yolk, beaten



Directions

For pastry crust

o In an electric beater, beat eggs.

o Add oil to the eggs. Mix well.

o Add wine to the oil and eggs. Mix well.

o Add salt.

o Add a cup of flour to the mixture. Beat well.

o Slowly add the rest of the flour (using dough hooks if and when necessary) and work into a soft dough.

o If the dough is too soft, add a touch more flour; if it's too hard, add a touch more wine.

o Shape the dough into a ball. Place in a container, and cover the container with plastic wrap.

o Let the dough rest for an hour at room temperature.



For the filling

o Beat the egg.

o In a large bowl, mix the beaten egg with the cheeses.

o Add pepper. Mix well.



To make the fiadoni

o Using a pasta maker (or a rolling pin) roll out the dough so that it is about 1/8 of an inch thick.

o Using a cookie cutter, cut 4 inch rounds. For the bottom side of the pastry leave as is; for the top part, with a serrated pastry cutter make a small slit about 1/2 of an inch in the middle of the pastry round (This will enable the steam to come out, and give it that "swollen" or "puffed up" look).

o Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling on each round (actually, as much as possible). Cover with matching pastry round. Seal with a fork.

o Brush each fiadone with the beaten egg yolk.



To bake the fiadoni

o Pre-heat the oven to 325 F degrees.

o Place the fiadone on greased cookie sheets (or ones lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats).

o Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the fiadone are a golden color.



To store the fiadoni

o Keep in fridge until needed.

o Serve at room temperature.


Notes

Apparently the word "fiadone" comes from the Germanic word "fladen" meaning "swollen." Some food writers describe the fiadone as a kind of flan, though it is obviously not a "traditional" flan at all, but something quite unique to the region of Abruzzo and Molise. Both regions are famous for their fiadoni. Frankly, most people prefer the "fiadone dolce" rather than the sharp cheese fiadoni that is represented in this entry. This style of fiadoni is similar but not necessarily the same as "torta rustica" which can be found in many areas of Italy. In any case, a wide number of articles on the world-wide web, indicate that this type of sharp cheese pie dates back to the Renaissance. Almost all the articles on the world-wide web state word for word the following (The text is possibly a translation of an article in an Italian 'Atlas'): "The origins of the fiadone date back to the times of Messisburgo, a contemporary of Ariosto, and the court of Ferrara's "Renaissance steward." It gained a footing in Abruzzo mainly because the traditional recipe included saffron from L'Aquila. Today the whole region is involved in either making this cake or supplying its various ingredients. It takes the form of a savory sweet flan with a pastry base containing a filling of cheese, ricotta and egg. Its use is linked to the celebration of Easter and it is exchanged as a gift between the families during the holidays...." Photo: Mary Melfi.

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