I created this beautiful pie while preparing for a photo shoot. My very talented food stylist Roula, had a momentary artistic block. This gave me time to grab the phyllo from the fridge and start cooking. Since I didn’t have much time, I had to create something quick and fuss free. So this pie couldn’t be easier. It’s delicious, creamy, full of tasty cheese and absolutely gorgeous.
- 200 grams fresh, salted “anari” cheese, crumbled (you can substitute “ricotta”)
- 200 grams cheddar cheese, grated
- 200 grams feta cheese, crumbled
- 200 grams “kefalotyri” cheese or pecorino, grated
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried mint
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 5 eggs
- 200grams thick greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 500grams frozen phyllo sheets. thawed
- About 80grams unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 175 C.
In a large bowl combine the cheeses, oregano, mint and black pepper. In another bowl whisk the eggs with the yogurt, milk and baking soda. Add the egg mixture to the cheeses and mix well.
Use some of the melted butter to coat the bottom and sides of a 28-30cm round ceramic baking pan. Alternatively you can use a 30cm spring-form pan. Lay one phyllo pastry on the bottom of the pan, letting the extra hang from the sides. With a pastry brush drizzle some of the melted butter. Top with another phyllo sheet, placing at an angle of about 45 degrees. Drizzle with some more butter. Continue placing another phyllo sheet and drizzling with butter, until you used a total of 5 sheets.
Take the remaining phyllo sheets and roll them up like a swiss roll. This should be fairly easy as phyllo sheets usually come rolled up. Take a sharp knife and slice the roll, at 1 cm intervals. Use your hands to unfold the rolls of phyllo and make ribbons.
Mix about 2/3 of the ribbons with the cheese/egg mixture. Mix well making sure all the ribbons are moistened.
Pour cheese/egg/ribbons mixture into the pan. Brush hanging phyllo edges with a little melted butter. Using your hands scrunch the hanging phyllo sheets to make a rough pie border. Brush border with melted butter.
Take the remaining phyllo ribbons and mix with about 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Place them randomly on top of the cheese mixture until it’s totally covered.
Bake pie for 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the phyllo is golden and the filling is set. Check with a knife at the centre of the pie if the filling is set. If the phyllo is becoming too dark while baking, cover loosely with foil.
Let pie stand 15-30 minutes before slicing and serving.