I rarely make pies; as I was growing up my mother would make pastry quite often and she’d always tell us our hands were too hot to make pastry. Whilst she was right; you need to keep pastry cool, it gave pastry making a mystique that put me off making it. I buy ready made pastry from the supermarket quite often but it is probably the single most frequently thrown away item in my fridge.
With the help of the Hairy Bikers Perfect Pies cookbook The Hairy Bikers’ Perfect Pies: The Ultimate Pie Bible from the Kings of PiesI intend to overcome my reluctance to make pies !
The first recipe I tried in their book was a very simple chicken with filo pastry pie. Since I still have ready made filo pastry in my fridge I decided to try their Spinach, Feat and filo pie. I’ve tried Jamie Oliver’s version in the past and know it’s not too difficult to make. This version was much better than Jamie’s. We added extra cucumber and tomatoe to the left over Greek salad from Thursday. The pie even met with enthusiastic approval from my elder son (who is a bit of a carnivore), he had seconds and said he’d be happy to have some cold in his packed lunch tomorrow.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, sliced and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 450-475 grams spinach leaves, trimmed and shredded
- 4 medium eggs
- 500 grams ricotta, drained
- 1/2 nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- 400 grams feta cheese, drained
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- freshly ground black pepper
- 100 grams butter
- 10 filo sheets,
- Heat the oil and gently fry the onions and garlic for 15 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add shredded spinach leaves and cook over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes. Tip spinach mixture into a sieve press down to remove moisture.
- Beat the eggs in a large bowl, stir in the ricotta, grate the nutmeg and add ground black pepper. Add the thyme and crumble the feta into the mixture. Add the flour and stir Preheat oven to 200°C/ Fan 180°C.
- Melt the butter and brush a sheet of filo with the butter, top with a second sheet and brush with more butter repeat with the next 3 sheets. Line the baking tin with a little butter and line with the pastry stack, leaving excess over the sides.
- Mix the spinach mixture with the cheese mixture, tip into the dish and level the mixture with a spatula. Cover with the remaining five sheets of filo, repeating the buttering process, Use a round bladed knife to tuck the pastry down the sides and a little underneath to neatly enclose the filling.
- Score the top into portion sized squares, cutting only through 2-3 sheets. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper
- Cook in a preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, until pastry is golden and filling is set. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Dish 20cm x 30cm, a lasagne dish is fine