One of the things I take on my return to the UK from Greece is different types of cheese. Unfortunately because I am a great cheese lover I finish my Greek stock in no time. For this reason I decided to make a cheese pita, put it in the freezer and eat it slowly slowly. Having made puff and croissant pastry from scratch I decided to challenge myself with making filo pastry for the pita.
I may be an expert in other types of baked goods but my hands didn’t step up to the challenge and today I woke up with elbow pains. The pita and the filo might have turned out successfully but my filo opening techniques need development to save my arms! The whole process made me appreciate my grandmother and my mum’s aunts more as now understanding the effort required for every pita I realise that they sure did me a huge favour when meeting my pita requests. I am sure that with practice I will get better and if I do it right I won’t suffer at all. For the moment I will give my arms and hands a rest!
I surely encourage everyone to try as you will come to realise that ready made filo has nothing to do with the real thing!
For the filo:
750 g all purpose flour
2 tbsp white vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 1/3 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
Cornstarch for opening the filo
Olive oil for the filo
For the filling:
850g mixture of cheeses (I used feta and dry anthotiro which is cheese only found in Greece)
In a large bowl we empty the dry ingredients for the filo. We make a hole in the middle and pure the liquid ingredients. We mix and work the mixturebuntil it becomes an elastic, workable dough. If necessary we add water or flour. We leave the dough to rest in the fridge for an hour.
After the hour we divide the dough in two balls. With a rolling pin we work each ball until it becomes a relatively thin round pastry. One trick my aunt has taught me and I have also come across a lot for easy filo is the following. We cut the circle into the following shapes
We spread oil on its part and we place them one on top of the other. We then proceed in working the pile into a filo a bit bigger than our baking tray. The thinner the better!
We repeat the process for the other dough ball.
For the mixture we grate the cheese, beat the eggs and mix the two. We then add pepper.
We oil our bakimg tray and place the filo. We spread the filling evenly leaving space in the margins to twist the edges of the two filos and secure the filling in. We place the other filo on top and then secure the edges by twisting the filos inwards.
We preheat the oven at 180C and bake for 40 minutes.
Our Greek style cheese pie is ready!
We can play around with different filings according to our liking! Enjoy and have fun with it!