Sunday, 8 May 2016

Tiropita..homemade cheese pie with 'village' pastry....freeform

Today I have to use up some feta cheese which K considers inferior.  Making a tiropitta is so easy.  I also made my own pastry and have included the recipe here. This is the traditional greek pastry made by mothers and grandmothers in little villages all over the country.  Some unrefined flour a good dose of their fresh olive oil and a little water, salt and vinegar. They know by the feel of it whether to add more oil or water and the result is always a good soft, elastic ball of dough.

 If you can't, or won't, make  pastry then use whatever you can find in your local supermarket.  That super thin filo pastry is also fine.  Just use four sheets underneath and three on top, oiling them one by one as you lay them down.

This cheese pie I made using semolina but I'll give a simpler alternative at the end.  This is my cheese and semolina mix ready to go into the pie dish

Grating the cheese makes for less lumps.  But bits of the feta always crumble away so a few lumps are the norm.

This 'village' pastry is now a nice soft ball of dough.  It has to be left to rest for half an hour.  This really does make it easier to roll out.

Rolling out your pastry.  If you roll it around your rolling pin then you can lift and maneuver it easily over the baking dish.

Lining the oiled pie dish with greek 'village' pastry. Because the pastry has oil in it you do not have to flour the work top before rolling.

And here we have a nice shell ready for the filling.  It does not need to be pre-baked

My two freeform sorts of pie/s, full of character and ready for the oven.  I always start out meaning to make beautifully formed triangles or half moon pies or a larger pie with braided edges but somehow they never quite turn out exactly as I imagined.  They do however taste the same, or better.

And the end result, all ready to be eaten, as a snack, with a salad or even with a glass of barrel wine or an ouzo.

Recipe - filling

- 1/2 litre of milk
- 70 grams of semolina
- around half a kilo of crumbled feta cheese
note: you can use any cheese, yellow, white or even some Danish blue.  The tastier the better.  Crumble the softer cheese and grate the harder ones.
- sweet paprika, about 1tsp
- a good shake of pepper
- chopped mint
- one egg


- 60 ml of olive oil (a small wine glass)
- 200 ml of water, maybe more (a water glass)
- 400 grams flour
- 1tsp salt
- one tbsp. vinegar

Put the milk and semolina in a pot and gently heat, stirring all the time till it thickens.  Take it off the boil once it begins to bubble.  It will thicken more as it cools.

Into the semolina mix add your cheese/s, paprika, pepper and chopped mint.  At the end add the egg and stir till well mixed.

Leave that while you make the pastry.  In a large bowl put the flour and make a well in the middle.  Add the oil, water, vinegar and salt.  Mix with a spoon and then get your hands in there and work the dough till it is a nice soft round ball.  It may need a little more water.  Leave to rest for half an hour, out of the fridge.

Divide the pastry into two pieces, one larger ball for the bottom and one smaller for the top.  Roll out the bottom piece as thin as you can.  Oil your pie dish and lay the pastry into the dish, covering the sides.  Fill up the dish with the cheese mixture.  Roll out the pastry top and cover the pie.  Brush with oil and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if you wish.
Bake around half an hour in a hot oven, till the top is nice and brown.

OR - take small pieces of pastry, roll them out and make smaller pies, sealing them well with a fork.

Alternative fillings -

Another simpler pie mix is just grated cheese/s with an added egg and chopped mint or nutmeg to flavor.  The result is more cheesy, but a bit runnier, not quite so good for individual pies as the filling is likely to run if not sealed up very tightly.

Instead of semolina make a small amount of white sauce and add the cheeses and spices or herbs to that.  Just as good.


  1. Yiami yiami!!!I've got the beer you bring the tiropita!!!!

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