Artichoke and Egg Pie

Artichoke and Egg Pie

12 tender young globe artichokes
1 lb (500g) olive oil pastry or 8 oz (225g) puff pastry
1 lemon
1 medium sized onion (41hoz/ 130 g), finely chopped
1 bay leaf
9 eggs
2 oz (60g) grated hard cheese
1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh marjoram leaves
9 oz (250g) ricotta cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper

Make the pastry as described in the recipe for Italian Easter Pie on page 50 or use ready-made puff pastry.

Have a bowl of cold water acidulated with the lemon juice standing ready. Prepare the artichokes; if you have bought large Breton artichokes, strip off all the leaves and remove the choke, leaving only the saucer-shaped bottoms and cut these horizontally into thin round slices. Trim the more tender varieties down to the heart, cut the hearts lengthwise in quarters then cut each quarter lengthwise into thin slices. Drop the artichokes into the acidulated water to prevent discoloration.

Sweat the onion with the bay leaf over a low heat in 1 oz (30 g) butter and 2 tbsp olive oil until tender. Drain the artichokes and blot dry with kitchen paper. Add to the onion and fry gently over a slightly higher heat for 10 minutes, turning frequently, until they have browned lightly. Season, add 2 tbsp water, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the artichokes are tender. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

Beat 5 of the eggs in a large bowl with a little salt and pepper. Stir in the grated cheese, garlic, marjoram, ricotta and the artichokes.

Preheat the oven to 475°F (240 °C) mark 9. Roll out the pastry and assemble the pie. Once you have the third layer of pastry in place, spread the filling out evenly on top of it; make 4 well-spaced depressions with the back of a tablespoon, each just large enough to take a raw egg broken into it. Season these with salt and pepper. If you use puff pastry, you will only need to line the tin and cover it with a lid. Glaze the surface with beaten egg.

Complete the preparation as directed for Italian Easter Pie and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

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