Passover Cheese Pie from Hania

Pesah Tyropita

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    8

    as a Main Dish

Appears in

Although this pie is called tyropita by Nicholas Stavroulakis, it is not the familiar triangle-shaped filo pastry that most people recognize by that name. It is a mina or pastel de kwezo, that is, a cheese pie. Using just mezithra and/or feta and Parmesan makes for a dryish but tasty filling, despite the 6 eggs. I suggest adding some ricotta to the mix, using perhaps 1 cup in place of an equal amount of the mezithra. Or serve with something a bit soupy on the same plate. Or, better yet, serve with soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound mezithra cheese, grated; ½ pound each feta cheese, crumbled, and parmesan cheese, grated; or ¼ pound each feta cheese, crumbled, and monterey jack or gruyere cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • salt, if needed
  • 6 to 8 matzohs, or enough to line the pan in 2 full layers

Method

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a 10-by-l4-by-2-inch baking pan.

In a bowl, combine the cheeses, ¼ cup olive oil, dill, and mint. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until creamy and fold into the cheeses. In yet another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the whites into the cheese mixture. You probably will not need any salt, as the cheeses are rather salty.

Select a shallow bowl large enough to hold about half of the matzohs and fill with cold water. Dip 3 matzohs in the water for about 3 minutes to soften, then drain well and place in the prepared pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with the cheese filling and drizzle more oil over the top. Soften as many more matzohs as are needed to cover the filling. Drizzle the top with olive oil.

Bake the pie until the top is browned, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.