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I got this Torta Milanese recipe about 15 years ago when I was an employee of Williams Sonoma. We had a chef come in for a cooking class and this is what he prepared. It takes some time, but it’s well worth the time and effort. I’ve served it many time as a brunch dish and it always gets rave reviews.
Recently, I served this torta at an Open House and it worked perfectly since it can be eaten at room temperature. It also can be prepared the day before, refrigerated and brought back to room temperature.
I always start making this with my 9″ non stick Calphalon Springform Pan. This springform pan is leak proof. Along with this 12″ non stick Calphalon skillet from my collection of Calphalon pans in my kitchen and my Raishi Stainless Steel Colander. And this dish would not be perfection without using top quality Sargento Swiss Cheese, and the best olive oil for your money Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil. When you can, always use the best kitchen tools and food ingredients. It makes a difference!
1 hour 30 minutes
Puff Pastry ingredients:
- 1 pound of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, chilled
egg filling ingredients:
- 10 free range large eggs
- 1 tablespoons of chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh tarragon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
REMAINING LAYERED INGREDIENTS:
- 5 large roasted red peppers (patted dry with paper towels)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 pounds of baby spinach
- 1 tablespoon of Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons of Land O Lakes heavy cream
- 3/4 pounds of Sargento Swiss Cheese, thinly sliced
- 3/4 pounds of smoked ham, thinly sliced (I use Boar’s Head)
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water, for egg wash
PREPARING THE PASTRY directions:
- Generously butter a 9″ non stick Calphalon Springform Pan
- Cut off 1/4 of the puff pastry, cover and set aside.
- Working on a lightly floured work surface, roll out the the remaining puff pastry to a round that is 1/4 inch thick.
- Carefully fit the pastry into the springform pan, pressing against the sides to get a smooth surface. Leave a 1 ” overhang.
- Roll out the smaller pastry until 1/4 thick. Cut out a 9″ circle. Cover both the crust and lid with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to fill.
preparing the filling directions:
- Whisk the herbs, salt & pepper together in a medium bowl.
- Melt the butter in a 12″ non stick Calphalon skillet on low heat and pour in the egg mixture. Gently stir the eggs around in the pan, pulling the eggs that set into the middle of the pan, tilting the pan so that the egg mixture run to the sides, cook until the egg are scrambled loosley, as they will cook more in the torta. Slide the eggs, without mounding them, onto a plate. Immediately cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.
- Roast peppers over a gas burner, broiler or then outdoor grill until the skin is charred. When the peppers are black and blistered all over, drop into a blow and cover with plastic wrap. to steam. When cooled remove skin with fingers and cut in half to remove seeds; season with salt and pepper and set aside. BEFORE ADDING TO THE TORTA, DRAIN THOROUGHLY ON PAPER TOWELS.
- Cook the spinach in a large pot of boiling salted water for about 1 minute, just to blanch. Drain the spinach in a Raishi Stainless Steel Colander, rinse with cold water and when cool enough to handle, put in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out all the liquid.
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a 12″ non stick Calphalon skillet over medium heat. Add the blanched spinach & minced garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, nutmeg and heavy cream. Remove the spinach with a slotted spoon and set aside.
ASSEMBLING the torta:
- Remove the pastry lined 9″ non stick Calphalon Springform Pan from the refrigerator and layer the filling ingredients in the following order: 1 layer of Sargento Swiss Cheese, half the eggs, half the spinach, half the cheese, half the ham and all the roasted peppers, laid out flat., then continue layering in the reverse order – the remaining ham, cheese spinach and eggs, topping with a layer of Swiss cheese. With each layer,make sure that all layers are spread to the edge of the pan.
- Fold the 1″ overhang over the filling and brush the rim with egg wash. Center the 9″ top crust over the torta and gently push the edge of the torta crust down into the pan, pressing and sealing the top. Use the palm of your hand and pat the top of the torta pan and level the crust.
- Brush the top of the torta with egg wash and cut a vent in the center of the crust.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Chill torta for about an hour.
- Remove the torta from refrigerator and give it another egg wash. Bake for about 1 hour & 15 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the torta rest on a cooling rack until just warm or until it reaches room temperature. Run a blunt knife around the edges of the pan and release the sides.
- NOTES: The cooled torta can be kept for several hours at room temperature or wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.
The cooled torta can be kept for several hours at room temperature or wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.