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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"Pizza Pie"

Alright, alright! The so-called pizza pie is actually called Neapolitan Torte with Cured Meat and Mozzarella. The Italian name is Torta Salata – meaning saled torte. I think the name is too long and troublesome to remember so the simplified name was born :).

I am not quite sure that the recipe here is authentic. It is from Tobie Puttok – head chef of Fiften Melbourne. If you are in Australia, I am sure you have heard of the TV show Jamie’s Kitchen. Basically, after the success of his Fifteen Restaurant in London, Amsterdam and Cornwall, Jamie headed to Melbourne to train 15 unemployed and troubled young people to become professional chefs. Of course Jamie has his own life in England so the Melbourne franchise is run by his Australian mate, Tobie. The restaurant, located in Collin Street, opened in late October this year. With the popularity of the show on Channel 10 network, it has been booked out till January! Apparently the reservation for March 2007 is now open…!

I want to try this restaurant out but the wait is just too long!!! So, seeing some recipes published by Tobie for an article in The Australian Gourmet Traveller, I decided to try one out! These recipes are said to be the “taste of what to expect”! Certainly a novice like me cannot cook up to a restaurant standards but I am still keen on what FIFTEEN has to offer…

Thus came the so-called pizza pie! I admit I had fun making and eating it. The torte was nice and lovely. Perhaps the reason is I love cheese, and the main ingredient is fresh mozzarella :). Of course looking at the pic, you can say that I have a lot to improve on working with dough. My torte looks like a valley surrounded by a range of mountain! Plus since I used a 23-cm springform cake pan instead of the recommended 20-cm pan, it looked kinda short compared with the picture in the magazine! This is one of the reasons why I call it pizza pie (^_^)!

I guess I should save up some money to go to FIFTEEN when I can get the reservation done!

Neapolitan Torte with Cured Meat and Mozzarella (or Pizza Pie :P)

The recipe is taken from The Australian Gourmet Traveller October 2006. Note that you can use ready-made frozen puff pastry to speed it up!

Ingredients

Fillings:

6-8 large vine-ripened tomatoes (around 1 kg), peeled and seeds removed

300 gram buffalo mozzarella, coarsely torn

¾ cup basil leaves, coarsely torn

200 gram cured meat – choose from salami, prosciutto and bresaola

40 gm finely grated parmesan cheese

1 egg, lightly beaten

The dough:

7 gm dry active yeast

Pinch of white sugar

500 gm plain flour

4 eggs

150 gm butter, softened

Method:

  1. For dough: combine yeast, sugar and 1/3 cup of warm water in a bowl and stir until smooth. Stand for 5 mins or until foamy. Sieve flour into a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and make a well in the middle. Add the yeast mixture, eggs and butter to flour and use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients. Turn the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and press to expel air. Remove a third of the dough and set aside. Roll larger piece out to 5-mm thick and use to line base and side of a greased and floured 20cm springform pan, leaving excess to over hang.
  3. Coarsely crush the tomatoes and blot on absorbent paper. Layer mozzarella, cured meat, tomatoes and basil leaves in pan. Seasoning each layer with freshly ground black pepper. Finish the layer with mozzarella and top up the final layer with parmesan.
  4. Roll remaining dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 23cm circle. Brush edges with egg wash, then place over pan, pressing to seal, trimming excess with sharp knife. Cover and stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until risen. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C.
  5. Brush top of the torte with remaining egg wash and bake for 20-30 mins or until golden. Serve immediately.
This is my first contribution to Student on a Budget! :) Nice to be here! Hm, I'm not quite sure that the pizza pie is a cheap dish. You have to buy fresh mozzarella & fresh parmessan, which can be quite dear... But it truly worths it! :) I bought my cheese from the deli section in Victoria Market.

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2 comments:

::Jacklyn:: said...

hello! yr pie looks gd. may try yr recipe sometime.

looking forward to more of yr recipes.=)

Gospel Band said...

hi. i'm impressed.