Cheese Pies

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes about

    20

Appears in

Apples for Jam

Apples for Jam

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2010

  • About

One of these works well as a snack and two or three could be a meal, perhaps served alongside a vegetable soup. You could even add some sautéed chopped leeks or spinach to the cheese filling. Sometimes I sprinkle the pies with sesame seeds after I have brushed them with the egg wash and then I dab at the tops a little more with the egg (I always feel that a few extra vitamins is a good idea wherever possible).

Ingredients

Pastry

  • 300 g(10½ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 200 g(7 oz) butter, cut into blocks
  • 1 small egg, lightly beaten
  • 50 ml( fl oz) milk
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

Filling

  • 120 g( oz) feta
  • 120 g( oz) smooth ricotta
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried mint, crushed between your fingers
  • 2 small eggs
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • about 1 teaspoon milk

Method

For the pastry, put the flour and butter in a bowl and add ½ teaspoon of salt. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it is crumbly, like sand. Add the egg and milk and continue working it until it comes together in a loose dough. Then add the vinegar and mix it in well so that the dough forms a loose ball. Flatten it slightly, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and line two baking trays with baking paper (unless you have a very large oven and can fit everything on one big tray).

For the filling, mash the feta with a fork until smooth. Work in the ricotta, parmesan and the mint. Add 1 egg and the paprika and mix well.

Whip the remaining egg and milk together in a small bowl for a glaze. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 3 mm( inch) thick. Cut 10 cm(4 inch) rounds with a pastry cutter or a glass, cutting them as close to each other as you can. Re-roll the scraps if you need to. Brush around the edges of the pastry circles with the glaze. Dollop a fairly heaped teaspoon of filling in the centre of each one, spreading it out very slightly into an oval (you want enough filling to make your pies tasty — but not so much that it bursts out during cooking).

Flip the pastry over your thumb and forefinger to make half-moons. Stretch out the ends to lengthen and thin them a bit. Press the edges together firmly to seal, then roll them over to make a lip so that no filling can escape.

Put the pies on the trays and brush the tops with glaze. Bake one tray at a time for 20 minutes or so, until the pies have golden tops and bottoms and look ready to eat. Leave to cool for a while — they are best eaten just warm, not piping hot.