PATSAVOUROPITA (GREEK CHEESE FILO PIE)
One of the things that never misses from my fridge is filo. Growing up, my mother used to make different kinds of sweet and savoury pies with filo, so being able to recreate them reminds me of home. Not to mention that they are delicious and really versatile. Today I’m giving you the easiest, quickest filo pie you can make: the so-called “patsavouropita” (πατσαβουρόπιτα in Greek). It’s my go-to when I want to wipe up something quickly for lunch or dinner because it’s really fool-proof.
Before getting into it, let me start by clarifying what the name means – I bet it’s all Greek to you, right? Patsavouropita is the combination of two words (i.e. “patsavoura” which literally translates to rag and “pita” which means pie) to describe its carelessly assembled appearance. Not the most glamorous name, I know, but it does taste amazing and that’s all that matters!
This type of pie was created by bakeries as a way of using up old scraps of filo pastry. They’d just go along their counters, collect up all the bits and turn them into this pie – zero waste baking at its best. You can make it sweet (e.g. by adding custard cream and turn it in a sort of simple galaktompoureko) or savoury. The variation I actually make often is with pumpkin cream and feta cheese – let me know if you would like the recipe for this filling in the comments below or on Instagram.
This time I also added some dried mint because I really fancy the subtle herbiness and freshness it brings but you can swap it with other fresh herbs or just leave it out completely. Another option is to add veggies (e.g. sundried tomatoes, roasted romano peppers) or meat (e.g. smoked ham, bacon). Let your creativity go wild and use whatever you’ve got on hand.
Another good thing about this pie? You don’t need to worry about keeping your filo covered as you go so that it doesn’t dry out. Just scrunch up the filo sheets, place them in the baking dish, pour the mixture on top, cover with another layer of filo sheets and voilà! Your patsavouropita is ready to go in the oven. Once you get the hang of it, you can put it together quite quickly. Not to mention, you can reheat in the oven any leftovers and they will be warm and crisp – almost as good as fresh.
▸ 12 filo sheets (around 450g)
▸ 400g feta cheese
▸ 200g mixed cheeses
▸ 300g full fat Greek yoghurt
▸ 2 eggs
▸ 150g olive oil
▸ 1⁄2 tsp nutmeg
▸ ground pepper
▸ 2 tsp dried mint (optional)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius set to fan. Grease your backing pan with olive oil and leave it on the side.
Take one by one your filo sheets, spread then one by one onto your working surface and slowly drizzle a bit of olive oil on them. You will need 4-5 filo sheets for the bottom of the pie. I place one filo as a basis on the baking pan and then crinkle the rest and cover the surface, just like in the pictures above. Don’t overdo it with the filo but make sure the base of the baking pan is fully covered.
In a bowl add the cheese mix, yoghurt, eggs, pepper and nutmeg and mix well until combined. Then pour the filling over the filo sheets making sure that it’s evenly spread. Using the same technique as before, drizzle another 4-5 filo sheets with olive oil, crinkle them and add them over the filling. Again, make sure the whole filling is covered.
Place at the top rack of your oven and bake for 60 minutes until golden. If the top filo sheets get dark too quickly while in the oven, cover it lightly with aluminum foil. Once you remove it from the oven, let it sit for around 20 minutes until it cools down. You can then slice it, serve and enjoy!