Home Italy Revisited Bookshelf Plays About Mary Melfi Contact Us
fiadone abruzzese
Fiadone Abruzzese ("Torta Rustica," Easter cheese pie, without sugar, with pepper)
Originated from: Abruzzo, Italy
Occasion: Easter
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

Printer Friendly Version


For pastry crust
4 1/2 cups flour [or, "as much as is needed"]
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk, lukewarm
1 packet of fast-rise dry yeast

For filling
2 1/2 cups ricotta [or 1 ricotta container, 400 gr]
1/2 cup Pecorino cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, plus 1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon pepper

For brushing
1 egg yolk


For pastry crust

o Proof the yeast in a cup of lukewarm milk.

o Beat eggs.

o Add the oil to the beaten eggs.

o Add yeast proofed in a cup of lukewarm milk to the egg and oil mixture.

o Add a cup of flour. Mix well.

o Slowly add the rest of the flour and work into a soft dough. If the dough is too soft, add more flour; if the dough is too hard add a touch more milk.

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

o Let the dough rest while making the mixture.

For the filling

o Beat the egg and egg white from 1 egg.

o Mix the cheeses with the egg mixture.

o Add pepper.

To make the fiadone

o Divide the dough into two parts, one of which is big, and the other small.

o Roll out the bigger dough ball -- somewhere between 1/8 of an inch and 1/4 of an inch.

o Roll out the smaller dough ball; cut into strips -- about 1/2 inch wide and 8 inches long.

o Place the rolled out die in a greased pie container, making sure that there is enough pastry dough that hangs out of the container (About twice as long as the height of the pie container).

o Bring in the dough that was hanging from the sides of the pie container. Attach strips of pastry dough in the center, forming a lattice-style structure.

o Brush the top of the pie crust with beaten egg yolk.

For baking

o Pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees.

o Cook for about 1 hour, or until the dough is golden and the cheese mixture is cooked.

For storing

o Keep in fridge until needed.

o Serve at room temperature.


This version of "fiadone Abruzzese" is similar to "torta rustica" or "pizza rustica" and as such it's a real challenge. The filling is easy enough, but making the pastry dough is difficult. A number of American sites have recipes for this style of fiadone, and luckily not all include yeast. Those without yeast are probably easier to get right. The majority of recipes on the world-wide web for "fiadone Abruzzese" are from Italy and are in Italian. According to what I read on the internet 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. As I may have noted in other entries most people prefer the "fiadone dolce" rather than the sharp cheese fiadoni that is represented in this entry.... 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 that first appeared 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.

Back to main list