Tiropitakia

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    6–8

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Real Greek

The Real Greek

By Tonia Buxton

Published 2016

  • About

Our little cheese pies are cooked daily, such is their popularity and continual demand. Filled with feta cheese, creamy leeks and spinach, these crisp filo triangles are a popular snack in Greece, eaten at any time of the day or as part of a meze.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 150 g leeks, finely sliced
  • 150 g baby spinach leaves
  • 200 g feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped dill

Method

  • Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, then cook the leeks for 4-5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Stir in the spinach and let it wilt over the heat for 1-2 minutes. Season well with black pepper, then transfer to a colander set over a bowl to thoroughly drain off any liquid.
  • Make the béchamel sauce: melt the butter over a medium heat in a small saucepan. Blend in the flour and continue to cook, stirring for 30 seconds or so to lightly brown the flour to a paste. Now gradually blend in the milk, a little at a time, and simmer, stirring, to form a smooth, creamy sauce. Season with the cinnamon, a good pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Tip the well-drained leek mixture into a bowl, crumble in the feta and add the dill. Now fold in enough béchamel sauce to bind everything together to make the filling for the pastries.
  • Remove the filo pastry from its pack – do not unroll it, but cut into equal thirds. Take one third and unroll to make the first batch of Tiropitakia. Cover the filo you are not using with damp kitchen towel to keep moist.
  • Lightly brush the first strip of pastry with oil. Take 1 tsp. of the cheese mix and place it on the bottom corner of the filo, then fold the filo over to make a triangle. Continue to fold up and when 7cm from the end of the strip, brush the filo with oil to then fold and seal the completed triangle. Place on a tray lined with baking parchment. Repeat until the filo and mix is finished.
  • Blend the flour and semolina together in one shallow plate and beat the eggs in a second shallow plate. Now dip each triangle into the egg, shake off excess and lightly dust with the flour mix. Transfer to a tray lined with baking parchment and chill for 1 hour or until required.
  • Deep fry at 170°C in batches for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Drain onto absorbent kitchen towel and serve warm. Alternatively glaze the little pies with beaten egg wash, arrange on a baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven at 200°F / 180°F fan / gas 6 for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.