Fiadone, Fiadoni, Fiatoni, Sciatun, Hiaune, Hiadone or H'iatun'*
For Pastry Dough [makes about 3 fiadoni]
Flour as much as needed [about 1 3/4 cups]
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Pinch of salt
For filling [3 different types of cheese]
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup Romano cheese, grated
1 cup soft fresh [not more than a month old] cheese, grated
4 whole eggs
1 to 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
Pinch of pepper (optional)
For brushing tops of fiadoni
2 egg yolks, beaten
* Fiadone (singular) or fiadoni (plural) were originally known as "h'iatun'" or "hiadone" 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.
To make the pastry dough
o Combine ingredients and work into a pastry dough.
o Shape the dough into a ball. Wrap with clear plastic.
o Place in a container. Cover with a linen cloth.
o Let the dough rest for an hour or so at room temperature.
To make the cheese filling
o Beat eggs
o Mix grated cheeses.
o Combine beaten eggs with grated cheese -- do the mixing by hand using a wooden spoon or fork, do Not use a blender or food processor. The cheese mixture should not be too smooth, but remain in its natural state.
o Add finely grated parsley and a pinch of pepper. Mix well (by hand).
To make the fiadoni
o Using a rolling pin, roll out the rested pastry dough to about 1/8 inch thick.
o Cut out circles with a serrated roller pastry cutter the size of a dinner plate (about 9 inches wide).
o Place the filling in the center of the circle.
o In the half of the pastry circle that will cover the filling, make three "thimble" size holes.
o Seal the pastry pockets with a fork.
o Re-cut the edges with a serrated roller pastry cutter (to make it look more appealing).
o Brush the tops of the fiadoni with egg yolk.
o Bake in 325 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden.
o Store in the fridge till needed.
o Before serving, cut each fiadoni into thin slices (about 1/4 inch thick).
o Serve at room temperature.
My aunt, Zia Rosina, is one of the few first generation Italian-Canadians, who actually wrote down the recipes she learned from her mother in the 1930s. So I trust they're rather representative of the area (Casacalenda, Molise) she grew up in. In any case, from what I can gather (and I may be wrong!) it seems that prior to World War II most cooks made their sharp-cheese fiadoni rather large (as is the one shown in the picture). Back then guests were given thin slices from the large-sized fiadone, rather than a small-sized complete fiadone by itself. In present-day Italy there seems to be a trend towards making mini-sized fiadoni, so that each guest gets his own little cheese pastry???? Also, up to the late 1970s sharp-cheese fiadoni were served at the end of the meal, as part of dessert. Nowadays, a number of individuals are serving the slices of sharp-cheese fiadoni as part of the first course. While this may not be the traditional way of doing things, it does seem to please guests. First of all, they're hungry so the fiadone slices taste better (Hunger is the best taste enhancer in the world) and second of all, North Americans are so used to desserts that are sweet-tasting that anything that doesn't contain sugar might not be all that appealing. O.K., North Americans of Italian origin may be in a class of their own, still, their tastes are becoming increasingly similar to their all-American brothers and sisters. So, if one is eager to do things the traditional way, then one serves the fiadone after the meal but if one wants to make sure the fiadone gets the respect it deserves (Lots of expensive ingredients in this home-made pastry) then one can serve it at the start of the meal. Photo: Mary Melfi.