I know, for many of you, the end of October is all about Halloween, but do you guys know anything about All Souls Day or the Day of The Dead?
This festival (Dia de los Muertos) is a two day holiday that takes place every year on Novemeber 1st and 2nd and, although it has been identified strongly with Mexico, it is celebrated throughout Latin America and anywhere with a large Latino population.
Many things are connected with this festival and one of them is Fiambre, which means “served cold” and is a Guatemalan salad that is prepared once a year. Though its origins are muddled, fiambre is now known as a cold salad that was created as families took dozens of little dishes to the cemetery to visit loved ones who had passed away. Over time, these dishes were mixed together and resulted in this easier-to-carry creation.
One of the main ingredients in this salad is any type of cold cut and in one interpretation, cold cuts also were taken to the cemetery to make sandwiches as a quick, portable meal. Using this ingredient, I decided to create a savoury pie which can be eaten warm or cold (think picnic food!!) and it is adorned with these beautiful Day of the Dead pastry cut-outs! You can buy your own cut-outs online or at your local Williams Sonoma store
These cookie cutters come with all of the things you would need to make cute cookie cut-outs (including piping tips and disposable piping bags). However, I thought it would be great to show you how else they could be used. In this ricotta-filled savoury pie, I’ve used the cut-outs to adorn the top of the pie – and using this hot water pastry recipe from my friend Julie Jones, the cut-outs hold their shape and design better. Of course, you can use any pastry recipe, including store bought to make it easier!
As you can see, this recipe comes together pretty quickly…
See how nicely they work?
You can decorate it as you please (I’ve shown you a lattice top as well) but always remember to make the edge pretty too! As you can see, I’ve used a grapefruit spoon pressed twice into the sides to create a pretty edge.
Adorned with the skull cut-outs and a handmade tombstone setting (with pastry bones as well), it’s now ready for the final egg wash and then the oven!
So cute, right?
All baked up with it’s golden crust, it’s ready to serve warm or cold!
A large slice with a fresh green salad makes a perfect lunch. But sliced thinly and served with some vegetables, this can be a great appetizer.
*although this is a sponsored post/ad, all opinions are my own.
Savoury Day Of the Dead Pie
- Pastry for two crusts homemade or store bought
- Flour for dusting
- 2 cups ricotta
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- ½ cup parmigiano grated
- 1 ½ havarti cheese shredded
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 4 cloves garlic
- 8 slices turkey or cold cuts of choice
- 1 egg for egg wash
- Preheat oven to 375 and have a 9-inch springform pan ready (or, alternately, use a deep dish pie plate).
- On a floured surface, roll out your ½ your pastry (if using homemade) into a large circle and place in the bottom of your pan/dish (alternately, place one of the store bought pie shells into the bottom of your dish and, if using a springform pan, press up the sides).
- Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, stir together ricotta, 2 eggs and parmigiano. Add grated Havarti, parsley and garlic and mix well.
- Place 4 slice of the turkey on top of the pie crust in the baking pan/dish. Spread the ricotta filling on top of the turkey and then layer the remaining 4 slices on top of the ricotta.
- Roll out remaining pastry and, using cutters, cut out shapes. With remaining pastry, feel free to decorate your pie as you wish (using a pastry cutter or sharp knife, cut out strips for a lattice top, etc). If using the hot water pastry, you can also use a pasta machine to cut out thin strips (using the spaghetti attachment) as this pastry is very pliable. Place pastry cut outs on top of pie and brush liberally with your egg wash.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until the top is golden.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.