Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Cheesy Feta & Spinach Pie

Feta cheese and spinach are a match made in heaven. I'm yet to get tired of this combination, and I hope that neither have you, as I've got two feta & spinach pie recipes in store for you (that's in addition to my Spanakopita á la Pille that I wrote about almost two years ago). They're all very different, so I hope you won't be too bored, and will stick around :)

The first recipe is for a cheesy (no, not in that sense!) tart, adapted from a Finnish Apu-magazine, where a recipe for juustoinen pinaattipiiras was published on 20 July 2001. It's rather rich and cheese-laden, so not a pie for those trying to lose a dress size. I found that this tasted even better on the following day, so I've added it to my savoury pies and tarts folder with a note 'best made day before' - quite useful for picnics, that is...

A cheesy feta & spinach pie
(Juustune spinati-fetapirukas)
Serves 6-8

Cheesy crust:
100 grams butter
50 grams grated cheese (Cheddar is good)
115 grams plain flour (about 200 ml)
2-3 Tbsp cold water

Spinach & feta filling:
250 grams fresh spinach
200 grams feta cheese
100 grams grated cheese (Cheddar is good)
200 ml single cream
3 eggs

First prepare the pastry: mix flour, butter and cheese with a knife until crumbly, then add the water and bring the pastry together. Press into a pie dish and put into a fridge for about 30 minutes to rest.
Meanwhile, blanch the spinach leaves in boiling water, then quickly cool under a running cold water, drain and squeeze dry. Cut coarsely, then mix with the other filling ingredients.
Blind-bake (see photo here) for 10 minutes in 200 C, until the crust is slightly golden.
Pour the filling into the pre-baked cheesy pastry shell and bake for another 20-25 minutes in the middle of the oven, until the filling is set and the top of the pie is lovely golden shade.
Cool a little, then serve with a green salad.


Kalyn Denny said...

I love this recipe!

Deborah said...

This looks so good! The cheesy crust sounds especially good.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

This sounds (and looks) absolutely delicious!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of cheese in the crust...the more cheese the better ;)

Anonymous said...

This looks yummy Pille! I will never tire of your feta and spinach pies and tarts :)

Andreea said...

this is my favortie combination. ever. i sometimes just put spinach, some cream, and feta and in a pan, heat it up, then eat it simply without a crust/ bread/ etc. delicious pie you made!

Anonymous said...

it looks fab.
i try to make it over the weekend.

desie said...

i also adore the feta and spinach combo. the idea of having cheese, too, in the crust sounds great. will try it out. thanks.

Alanna Kellogg said...

Gorgeous!! I have to say, if I weren't blogging myself, whenever I wanted to know what to make for supper, I'd visit here and then just pick your most recent post and make it. Yummmmmm ...

Shaun said...

Pille - Hearty and palate-pleasing, you cannot go wrong with the perfect Greek combination of feta and spinach. This is a beautiful pie, perfect for any weather.

Anonymous said...

That's a delicious picture! The crispy brown patches around the edge look particularly inviting.

Mansi said...

hey, this looks very pretty!! I first had this in Cici's Pizzeria in dallas, and have loved it since then...quick and easy!

Elle said...

This llok so things with spinach and cheese.
Congrats, too, on the mention in epicurious...well photos are terrific.

K and S said...

saw your write-up on Culinate, Congrats!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Oh! yum yum! That looks heavenly! Thanks for sharing! I will try it out, I am a cheese fiend!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

My daughter has loved spanakopita almost since the day of conception. If she loved spinach and feta as a toddler no wonder she is such a wonderful cook in her 20's. Loved these recipes!!!

Dagmar said...

Oh, this looks and sounds yummy. What a great and interesting idea with cheese in the crust!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I'm a real lover of the feta and spinach! This does look rich but Oh so good.

Pille said...

Kalyn, Deborah, Lydia, Elle & K&S - thank you!

Linda - that sounds like a good rule of thumb ;)

Joey - same here ;)

Andreea - that sounds a perfect quick recipe for those 'lighter' moments!

Maarja - did you give this one a go yet?

Maybahay - spinach & feta is a good combination to start with, but yes, this cheesy crust is quite a lovely addition to already good combo.

Alanna, dear, you make me blush! But believe me, this inspiring thing is very mutual!

Shaun - you're quite right about that!

Julie - that's where all the cheesy goodness is concentrated, you know..

Mansi Desai - Cici's Pizzeria in Dallas does a similar cheesy feta & spinach pie? I need to check it out if I'm ever in Dallas:)

Holler - oh, please do!

Valli - your daughter has got good taste, for sure!

Dagmar - I've used cheese in the crust before (see here), and it's a great way to add extra flavour to various pies. Another trick I do is adding dried herbs into pastry.

Tanna: rich = good, at least in this case :)

Jeanne said...

Oh I LOVE the spinach & feta combination. I have used it on pizzas, on fish fillets, to stuff chicken breasts... and in quiches (usually with some bacon in there too ;-)) I do like the idea of cheese in the crust - will have to try that next time.