2 1/8 cups flour*
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lard*
Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
For the filling
1 container of ricotta (about 500 grams)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest mixed in a tablespoon of sugar
For decorating crust
1 cooked hard-boiled egg
1 egg yolk for brushing
1 tablespoon of sugar for sprinkling
How to make the Scarcedda:
Combine the flour with the lard (The lard is Not melted out but kept in the solid form).
Mix in the sugar, eggs and finely grated lemon zest and work into a pastry dough (If the dough is too soft add more flour; if it’s too hard add more lard.). Do not over-process the dough, the less it’s handled the better.
Divide the dough into two portions.
Shape the portions into balls. Wrap the balls in clear plastic.
Allow the dough to rest at room temperature while the filling is being made.
Combine the ricotta, eggs and sugar. Using an electric mixer (or better yet a blender) mix the ingredients well (The mixture should be smooth and not grainy).
Fold in the 2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest mixed in a tablespoon of sugar in the cheese mixture.
Using a rolling pin roll out the first half of the divided pastry dough to about 1/8 of an inch thick.
Place the rolled out pastry dough in a pie dish.
Add the ricotta mixture.
Using a rolling pin roll out the second half of the divided pastry dough to about 1/8 of an inch thick.
Using a ruler as a guide cut out 6 pastry strips which will be used for a lattice crust topping. Make the strips about 1 inch wide and 12 inches long.
Cut out another 4 smaller strips — about 12 inches long by 1/2 inch wide (These smaller strips will be used to attach the boiled egg to the pie crust).
Attach the wider 6 strips to the pie crust, making a nice lattice topping.
Place the boiled egg in the center of the pie, right on top of the lattice strips. Attach the egg to the lattice strips with the smaller pastry strips, making an attractive criss cross design over the egg.
Brush the lattice topping with egg yolk. Sprinkle some sugar over it. *
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the pie is cooked.
* Brushing the lattice topping with egg yolk is not absolutely essential, but it does help hide imperfections one might have inadvertently made
Regional recipe from Basilicata