Tropita – Greek Cheese Pie – SXMCooks. Kataifi is a popular Middle Eastern pastry made with a special form of shredded filo dough, it looks like angel hair pasta and can be used to create a variety of savoury dishes and sweet desserts.
While I love to use filo (fillo / phyllo) dough sheets I have not used the shredded filo dough called Kataifi. I have eaten it though, many times. My favorite Lebanese dessert is the sweet custard filled shredded filo I know as Knafeh but there are a number of other spellings for this dessert. (And there are so many spellings of this dough, I will just use filo!!)
A short while ago I saw there was a new shipment of doughs filling the supermarket freezer – puff pastry and Kataifi nestling behind the glass doors. Immediately the old taste buds said, “make me some of your fav dessert.” The pastry has been sitting in my freezer until today, the taste buds unsatisfied and now they are in revolt and are asking for a Greek Cheese Pie so this is what I made today. We love this cheese pie at Easter time.
We also love Spanakopita, the Greek spinach pie. With a lot of spinach from the garden washed and ready to go I combined the two. You can, of course, use regular filo instead of the Kataifi.
Once the cheese-egg filling has been poured over the spinach mix a topping of the filo is put in place.
I had a sprinkling of cheese left over so used it up sprinkling over the pastry. Then with the remaining butter/oil mixture spread over all the pie it went into the preheated oven.
The pie was ready after 50 minutes and left to sit for 10 minutes. The mint flavour added to the awesome richness of this dish.
Taste buds are satisfied now, for sure!
Tropita – Greek Cheese Pie
8oz feta cheese, crumbled
3 1/2oz grated Parmesan
3 1/2oz grated Emmental cheese (if you can find Greek Kaseri cheese use that)
3 1/2oz ricotta cheese
3/4 of a cup cream
3 large organic eggs, beaten
2 TBL fresh mint (optional)
1 cup mixed olive oil and melted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
Sauté a clove of garlic in butter for a few minutes.
Add a finely chopped onion and soften in the butter until translucent.
Add spinach (a large packet) to this and wilt down.
Defrost and break down the kataifi. You will only use about half the packet, quickly rewrap the left over and pop it back into the fridge.
Spread half of the pastry you broke down into a well-buttered baking dish.
Melt the butter and stir into the olive oil. Using half of this and gently pour over the pastry in the dish – you will not cover all the dough but try to cover as much as possible.
Spread the spinach mix over the butter/oiled dough.
Grate fresh nutmeg over this.
Mix the eggs, cream and cheeses well and pour over the spinach.
Top with the rest of the broken-down filo dough.
Pour the remaining oil/butter mixture carefully over most of the pastry.
Bake in a 350*F oven for 50 – 60 minutes.
Let it set for about 10 minutes before cutting.
Serve with a sprinkle of fresh, finely chopped mint.