“Spanakopita” nowadays has become an international dish because all people who visit Greece try it and love it! Of course “spanakopita” is the top of the iceberg because all over Greece there are hundreds of different recipes for pies!
Pies in Greece are like pizza in Italy, that means you can find them everywhere and you can make them in many different ways. I am sure you have seen Greek people early in the morning, on their way to work or when they have a break that on one hand they are holding a cup of coffee and on the other hand a piece of pie. A pie could be breakfast, a quick snack between breakfast and lunch or lunch itself accompanied by a nice salad. If you have walked in Athens or another Greek city you would have noticed that almost every 100 meters there’s a bakery which sells pies. Oh, yes! Greek people love all pies.
The most popular ones are “Tiropita” (cheese pie) with Feta cheese or “Spanakopita” (spinach pie) but you can find pies filled with anything you can imagine: potatoes, mix of herbs and greens, sausages, cured meat, minced meat, zucchinis, eggplants, mushrooms, peppers, onions, different kinds of cheese and many many more. We make more than 150 different pies!
But what about if you want to prepare a nice pie at home? The best would be to have attended our wonderful “Cooking Lesson and Dinner” during your holidays in Athens but if this is not the case let us give you some tips.
- The most important thing is the phyllo dough. You can either buy it or make it by yourself. Of course, the homemade one cannot compared to anything else… Since you have the phyllo dough add the filling that you crave and here you have your pie! You can be as much creative as you wish!
- Place the feeling between the phyllo dough. If you have thick, homemade phyllo dough, two layers on the bottom and two on the top and the filling in between is just fine. If you have the ready, thin phyllo dough, three layers on the bottom, three on the top and some between the filling will work just fine.
- Make sure that your filling will not contain many liquids so the phyllo dough will be soaked and not crispy.
And the bonus for you! A nice and easy cheese pie for your Sunday breakfast or brunch! It is called the “Pie of the lazy housewife” because it is soooo easy and the surprise and the overturn is that you will not use any phyllo dough! It comes from Epirus area and it is traditional! Yes, we have this kind of pies too! Find some real, good quality Feta cheese and enjoy it!
– 200gr/7oz Greek yogurt
– 140gr/5oz (1/2 cup) all purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 170gr/6oz butter, in room temperature
– 400gr/14oz real feta cheese, crumbled
– 2 eggs
– 200gr/7oz grated Greek Graviera or any other yellow hard/semi-hard cheese you prefer (avoid very salty kinds of cheese like Parmesan for example)
– 1/2 cup of milk
– 1 pinch of nutmeg
– pepper, NO salt is needed in this pie
- Mix the flour and the baking powder in a large bowl .
- Whisk in the milk.
- Add the yogurt, the eggs and the margarine (or butter) and stir well until they incorporate. The mixture will be thick. Don’t worry, if you keep stirring everything will combine!
- Add the Graviera (or other yellow cheese) and stir lightly to incorporate (pic.2).
- Add the feta cheese and fold into the mixture using a large spoon. Don’t break the feta to very small bits.
- Add the pepper and the nutmeg.
- Pour the mixture in a 21x18cm / 11x7in baking pan (or similar) that is brushed with Olive Oil. The pie should be thin so don’t use a smaller pan.
- Bake at 180 degrees Celsius/350 Fahrenheit in the middle rack in preheated oven, until golden brown (about 45 minutes).
- The pie is ready when inserted knife comes out clean (no pie sticks to it).
- Once ready remove from the oven and let it cool before serving.