Spanakopita I: The Easy Peasy Way

So to be honest, I had no plans to make spanakopita.  The thought had never even occurred to me.  However, when I happened across some beautiful pictures of the assembly process for this particular method, I suddenly wanted to make it too.

Fluffy, frilly spanakopita.

This isn’t the spinach pie that I’m familiar with (disclaimer:  I haven’t had much Greek food, so I’m no expert).  The spanakopita I’ve had consists of distinct layers of delicate fillo dough and spinach/herb/cheese mixture.  The fillo dough and spinach/herb/cheese mixture in this pie, however, are mixed together.  There is also no buttering of each fillo dough sheet in this recipe – thus the original recipe’s name:  Easy Peasy Spanakopita.

The verdict on this method:  Tasty, easy-to-make, aesthetically pleasing, and HUGE (I have a tendency to jump into things without first considering yield, and then being shocked at the end).  Seriously, make sure to either cut down on the amounts or share with a friend.  Or ten.  Since the fillo dough was interspersed with the filling, the fillo was not delicate and flaky like other ones I’ve had.  The pie kind of reminded me of quiche, though not as heavy, since it wasn’t solid egg.  I would make this again with some adjustments:  less fillo dough (some parts were a bit dough-y for me), more spinach, lower sodium feta (or less feta to cut down on the saltiness).  I might even try it with milk instead of cream, to make it even lighter.

Having made this, I’m now inspired to try the traditional method too at some point.

EASY PEASY SPANAKOPITA
Inspired by Gourmet Worrier
Yields one 11-inch round pie 

Ingredients
(Sorry, my measurement units are all over the place.  The original recipe goes by weight, but I don’t have a scale, so I just eyeballed things based on the weights printed on the packaging.  The rest of the ingredients I actually measured out.)

  • ~220g fillo dough (I might use less next time)
  • 325g frozen spinach (I would increase this to maybe 500g.  Fresh spinach would also be great)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • generous bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 450g feta, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 300 mL light cream

Directions
1.  Preheat  oven to 400 degrees F.   Grease an 11-inch round baking pan.
2.  Saute garlic and spinach and dill.  If using fresh spinach, saute until just wilted.
3.  Set aside spinach mixture to cool.
4.  Once spinach mixture has cooled, add the feta, parmesan, nutmeg, and pepper and mix.

5.  Lay 2 sheets of fillo dough on a flat surface (note handling instructions written on the fillo box)
6.  Scatter some of the spinach/cheese mixture  evenly over the sheets.  (In the future, I would probably put a little more than I did here for an overall higher filling to dough ratio in the pie).

I hope you scatter it more evenly than I did.

7.  Scrunch the dough starting from the top or bottom until the entire sheet is scrunched.

Make sure to scrunch the sheet vertically, not horizontally like I initially did.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with a really thin pie and a lot of excess filling!

8.  Place the the scrunched sheet in the baking dish.  Continue scrunching and transferring to dish until the dish is full and/or the spinach/cheese mixture is gone.

9.  Beat the egg and cream together.

10.  Pour the egg/cream mixture evenly over the pie.

11.  Bake 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown.  (Sorry, can’t seem to find the pictures I took of this.)

The directions said to let the pie sit 10-15 minutes before eating, but we forgot and dug right in.  Oops.

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