Thursday, 28 July 2011

Recipes - Cheese and Spinach Pie

This is another one of those recipes my friends keep me around for and one I have been watching my grandmother make since I was a child.  She sometimes uses broadbeans instead of spinach which is also delicious.  I've labelled it as being Maltese Cuisine.  I'm not sure if it really is, or if it is just something my family has always cooked.  Either way, tastes pretty amazing.  

500g ricotta
150g feta
1 bunch silverbeat or 1 bag baby spinach, stalks removed and roughly chopped
3 eggs
1/4 pine nuts, toasted (optional)
puff pastry
salt and pepper, to season

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 220°C.  Grease a medium sized oven proof dish.
Step 2 - Place spinach in a colander. Fill kettle with water and bring to boil. Pour boiling water over spinach.  Squeeze water out of spinach and set aside to cool.
Step 3 - Place feta in a large bowl and mash with a fork.  Add ricotta, eggs and pine nuts and mix until combined.  Then, add the cool spinach, season with salt and pepper and mix in well. 
Step 4 - Line the oven proof dish with puff pastry and prick all over with a fork. Pour mixture in and smooth to form an even layer.  Place more puff pastry over the top and gently pinch sides and top together to seal the pie. Prick top with fork.
Step 5 - Transfer to hot oven and bake for 20 minutes then turn heat down to 180°C and bake for a further 40 mins.  
Step 6 - Remove from oven and set aside to cool.  Serve with a simple salad.


Puff pastry can be bought ready made from supermarkets.  I buy the cheapest home brand sold in pre-cut sets of 6 sheets (I used three sheets for this pie).  Pastry needs to be kept frozen and removed 10 minutes prior to use.  Sit individual sheets on the bench and allow to thaw to the point where they are pliable.  Over thawing will cause the butter to melt and the pastry will become sticky, difficult to use and will not puff properly when cooking. Pastry can be cut and crimped together with a fork to fit any size dish. 

I don't brush pastry with egg wash, but feel free to do so if you prefer.  

Any variety of feta can be used.  For an extra cheese pie, grate some tasty, mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese into the mix.

Pies can be made in any size.  Muffin tins are great to create individual treats, just reduce the cooking time.

1 comment:

  1. How can you say the pine nuts are optional... They were the best part :)