This scrumptious pie is a traditional Mediterranean favorite that has been handed down in Greek and Turkish families for generations. I learned to make it from my mother, and she learned to make it from hers. It can be served as a main dish, or as a side. When it’s the main course, it’s traditionally served with hard boiled eggs and a salad. Sometimes I even have it with a cup of coffee for breakfast.
Yields: 8 slices
Serving size: 1 slice
Ingredients for the crust:
- 2 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/4 cups of superfine almond flour
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
Ingredients for the filling:
- 12 oz chopped frozen spinach
- 3/4 cup full fat cottage cheese
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (I prefer goat’s milk feta, but you can substitute cow’s milk feta if it’s all you can find)
- 2 oz kasseri cheese, grated or finely diced
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried dill
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Butter a standard pie tin.
- Cook the spinach per the directions on the package. Place a colander into the sink, and place the spinach into it. Rinse the spinach with cool water, until it is cool enough to handle.
- Take a handful of the cooled spinach. Repeatedly press the spinach between your hands, squeezing out as much water as you can. Place the spinach in a medium sized bowl, and repeat until all of the spinach has been pressed dry and is in the bowl.
- Add the rest of the filling ingredients, except for the paprika, to the bowl with the spinach. Mix well to incorporate.
- Set the filling aside, and prepare the pie crust as follows.
- Place the cream cheese in a small bowl. Soften the cream cheese in the microwave until very soft, for about 10 seconds.
- Place the salt, the baking powder, and 3/4 cup of the almond flour into a bowl. Mix well with a fork to combine.
- Add in the egg and the cream cheese. Mix well to completely combine. You should now have a wet, slightly sticky dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean plate. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup of almond flour a little bit at a time, kneading and working the dough to incorporate all the flour.
- Place the dough between two pieces of parchment paper, and roll it into a circle that is a little bit larger than the top of your pie tin. A trick I’ve learned is to tape the bottom piece of parchment to my work surface with blue painter’s tape. This prevents the paper from slipping and sliding while you’re trying to roll out the dough. If the dough sticks to the paper, you may have rolled it too thin, or you might need to add in a bit more almond flour.
- Remove the top sheet of parchment paper, and all of the blue tape if you used it.
- Place the pie tin upside down on top of the dough. Use the ends of the paper to carefully lift the dough and the pie tin together. While still holding the parchment paper, carefully grip the pie tin with your fingers and invert it with the dough, so that it’s right side up.
- Gently place the pie plate onto your work surface. Carefully remove the parchment paper. Use your fingertips to gently press the dough down into the plate, and up the sides where needed.
- Use a knife to trim any excess dough from the outer rim of the plate. You can use these scraps to repair any holes in the crust, or to even out the edges of the crust.
- Use your fingers in a pinching motion to crimp the crust. An alternate form of decoration would be to crimp the edges by pressing them with the tines of a fork.
- Spoon the spinach filling into the crust. Sprinkle the top lightly with paprika.
- Place the pie into the center of your preheated oven, and bake for 40-45 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
- Serve warm or cold.