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Fiadone con Formaggio (Savory sharp cheese baked half-moon Molisani pastries, using Scamorza and Pecorino cheese)
Originated from: Molise, Italy
Occasion: Easter
Contributed by: Mary Melfi

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Fiadone con Formaggio+

For dough*
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
5 extra large eggs
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For a sharp cheese filling
2 cups Scamorza cheese, coarsely grated
1 1/2 cups Pecorino cheese, grated
2 extra large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional)

For egg wash
1 egg yolk, beaten

*Makes 2 medium-sized fiadone

+ Fiadone (singular) or fiadoni (plural) were originally known as "hiaune," "h'iatun'," "hiadone" and "sciatun" in the Molise countryside. However tourist brochures from this region now refer to them as "fiadone." On the world-wide web this style of cheese pastry has many different names, including: fiadone con formaggio, fiadone al formaggio, fiadone di formaggio, fiadoni con formaggio, fiadoni al formaggio, fiadoni di formaggio and fiatoni.


Mix flour, salt, oil and eggs together, working into a firm but malleable dough. Knead for about 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into two parts.

Form into balls, wrap with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in a cool place for about 1/2 hour.

Meanwhile make the filling, making sure the beaten eggs are nicely blended with the cheese (Mixture shouldn't be runny).

Roll out the first part of the dough to between 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick.

Using an 8-inch soup plate or 9-inch dinner plate for measurement cut out a large circular pastry panel.*

Spread half the mixture onto the pastry panel.

Fold over and seal the edges with a fork (Or, one can make decorative edges by pressing the side of a serrated pastry wheel cutter against the dough -- not once around the 3/4-inch edge, but three times).

Place the fiadone on a well-greased baking sheet or one lined with parchment paper.

Make a decorative air vent on the top of the fiadone.

Brush the top of the fiadone with beaten egg yolk.

Repeat the steps for the remaining dough ball.

Bake in a pre-heated 350 degrees F oven until a light golden brown -- about 25 minutes.

Cool. Store in fridge.

Cut into slices before serving.

*A smaller plate will produce a fiadone that looks nicer, in the sense that the depth of the pastry is much higher, unfortunately one runs the risk of having too much stuffing, which in some cases can leak out and cause the pastry to open up during the cooking process, making the stuffing less pleasant to the palette and to the eye. On the other hand smaller-sized fiadone take less effort -- if one wants to make them, one simply reduces the amount of stuffing used. The amount used is important, however, as getting just the right height (or the right look) will generally indicate whether or not the fiadone is guest-friendly. More often than not if a fiadone doesn't look good, it's unlikely it will taste the way it should (Nonna-style).


Having come across a variety of recipes for fiadone, I tried to simply the process. The portions for this particular recipe seemed to work (The stuffing of the fiadone did come out airy, like Swiss cheese, and not like tofu -- the mark of a badly-made fiadone). Still, it's not the best-tasting fiadone I have had the pleasure of eating, but it is easy to do, and comes close to the real thing (For the real thing see Sue Alfieri's version on this website). Incidentally, prior to World War II, fiadone were traditionally served at the end of the Easter meal, as part of the dessert. Nowadays, they're often being served not only at the start of the meal as entrees, but even before that -- just after the guests have removed their coats, have a drink, and have not yet been seated at the table for the main meal. How things change. Comments and photo: Mary Melfi.

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