No alligators were harmed in the making of this pie.
As have so many people, cooking and baking is part of my quarantine routine. Perhaps not so much like many people, I’ve been sifting through my grandma’s recipes. These are recipes I saved in my 20s, before she died but after she was able to talk to me about them. One by one I’ve made them and decided whether or not to keep them, alter them, or get rid of them.
Some of the recipes weren’t hers, per se, but ones she’d trimmed from one of her many magazines. Alligator Pie is one such recipe, although that’s the name I gave it. No, Grandma Rae saved the not-as-creatively named Ricotta Spinach Pie recipe. After I made the crust, I had some pastry left over, so I improvised with an alligator cookie cutter (hey, spinach is green, so it kind of hangs together!)
Below, find the recipe with my modifications.
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup chopped shallot
1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 c. finely chopped prosciutto
Dash teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. sherry
Pastry for 9-inch double-crust pie (I made a gluten-free one but you shouldn’t if you don’t have to)
Preheat oven to 425º
In medium skillet melt butter. Add shallots and saute until translucent; cool slightly. Add spinach and sherry ; cook until all butter is absorbed and the sherry has cooked down. In separate bowl combine ricotta, spinach and prosciutto. Add eggs, Parmesan, prosciutto, salt, pepper and nutmeg; mix well.
Roll out half the pastry and line a 9-inch pie plate. Bake 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and add filling.
Roll out remaining pastry and place over filling; seal edges. Cut several slits in top. I used an alligator cookie cutter to fashion the remaining pastry into alligators. With oven rack on lowest position, bake 20 min-
utes. Reduce temperature to 350°F and bake 20 more minutes. Serve warm.