Greek island pies

Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Photo by Peter McIntosh.
I have so many memories of my time in Greece and in particular the many food stores selling these cheesy pies encased in wonderfully oily pastry. This is one of many I make time and time again.

Greek island pies
Makes 6 large pies
175g plain flour
175g wholemeal flour
5 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
Lukewarm water
350g ricotta cheese
Grated parmesan, aged cheddar or cheese of your liking, for sprinkling
Pinch Greek oregano
Pinch sea salt flakes

In a large bowl add the flours, a pinch of salt and the oil, and mix with your hands while pouring in a little warm water at a time. You want the dough to be soft and pliable. Knead it until it loses its stickiness - about 3-5 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 even-sized balls, cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 30 minutes. Roll out the balls into thin rounds about the size of your frypan.

Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese over the base of six rounds, sprinkle with a pinch of oregano and light sprinkle of salt, leaving a narrow margin around the edges. Moisten edges with a little water or egg and place another round on top. Press down to seal. Dust with a little flour.

Heat a heavy frypan, brushed with oil, to medium-low heat. Add one pie at a time and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.

Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with grated cheese. Cook the remaining pies, brushing the pan with oil each time. Best served hot.

- Alison Lambert, chef at the Otago Farmers Market, will demonstrate this recipe at the market on Saturday morning.


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