A Greek Cheese Pie is what Feta cheese exists for (that and to make fried Saganaki cheese). No Greek ever misses a chance to indulge himself in a piece of nice and warm cheese pie. It's a well-favored Greek breakfast. And it is definitely the number one choice for whoever visits a Greek bakery in the morning (the smell is irresistible).
What's A Greek Cheese Pie?
A Greek Cheese Pie is a savory pie that is made with phyllo dough. Either homemade or ready-made phyllo pastry sheets. It is filled with creamy feta cheese filling and cooked until golden and crispy. It's utterly delicious and packed with cheesy goodness.
The old-fashioned version of this pie used to be made with homemade phyllo, crumbled feta cheese, and lots of olive oil. It was very oily and heavy to eat pie. That pie gave its place to this new version of Greek Cheese Pie with a creamy filling and easy, convenient to use ready-made phyllo pastry.
One Of The Best Cheese Pie Recipes
There are so many variations of a Greek Cheese Pie today. I do believe though, that I have found one of the best.
My other favorite version is that of the Snail-shaped Cheese Pie. Creamy Feta Cheese filling inside crispy phyllo that's rolled to become even crispier when baked!
It was a day about two years ago that my boyfriend came to me one morning full of excitement due to his new discovery. Apparently, he had found a new bakery to buy his morning coffee. But that was not the reason for his excitement.
Along with his coffee, he bought himself a piece of Cheese Pie. -It is one of the best cheese pies I ever had, he cried. Here, I bought one for you too. And I think to myself -Yeah..., the best like the previous one you had... (again we eat a lot of cheese pie for breakfast). And oops! Once I taste it I think to myself (again), -The man is right. Well, at least this once...
The best thing about this pie was that it had the creamiest filling, without any pieces of cheese inside. And of course, I HAD to find out how to make this divine cheese pie. And that's how we end up here with this recipe...
The Creamiest Cheese Pie Filling
The trick is to start by making a cream (bechamel-like). Then you add the cheese and cook over medium heat until the cheese melts completely. Yeap! It was that easy to make. And it's so much more flavorful than just tossing whole pieces of cheese in. Besides, we all know how much tastier cheese gets when cooked.
Also, for those of you that are already familiar with Greek Cheese Pies, there are no eggs used in this recipe. This way you get all the flavor out of the Feta cheese. Can't wait for you to try it and tell me what you think!
And here are some tools I'm using in this recipe.
A 10-inch round baking pan preferably. If you don't own one, you can use one that's an inch bigger or smaller (but just an inch).
A pastry brush to grease the phyllo sheets.
A square-shaped wooden spatula in order to scrape the bottom of the pot when making the cream.
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Greek Cheese Pie With Phyllo And Feta Cheese
For The Pie Filling:
- 55 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 45 grams flour
- 400 ml fresh milk
- 270 grams soft feta cheese crumbled
For The Pie:
- 7 sheets of phyllo pastry or half a package of 450 grams
- 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 60 ml sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon of sesame
- In a medium-sized cooking pot, whisk the 80 ml of olive oil along with the 65 grams of flour.
- Cook over high heat for 2 minutes by whisking constantly.
- Reduce heat to medium and pour the milk. Continue whisking until mixture starts to become creamy (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add the feta cheese and stir with a wooden spatula (constantly) until all of the feta melts (about 4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
- NOTE: Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot while stirring so the cream won't get burned.
For The Pie:
- Preheat oven to 190°C / 374°F. Lay open the phyllo pastry sheets on your working surface and cover them with a tea towel so they won't air-dry.
- In a small bowl combine olive oil and sunflower oil (this is for greasing the phyllo sheets).
- With a pastry brush, grease the bottom of a 10-inch round pan, with some of the oil mixture.
- Add the first phyllo sheet and grease with the oil as well (covering the rest of the phyllo stash with the towel again).
- Add next phyllo sheet on top of the other creating a cross shape. Grease well.
- Add two more phyllo sheets in exatly the same way.
- Fold the excess phyllo edges of the top 2 phyllo sheets inwards (to create a thicker pie bottom). Grease well.
- Pour the creamy cheese filling into the pan.
- Add a phyllo sheet on top and grease with oil.
- Add 2 more phyllo sheets on top of the pie greasing each one very well.
- Fold the edges of the top phyllo sheet inwards.
- Cut the remaining excess edges (that hang out of the pan) of the remaining 2 phyllo sheets that are on top.
- Roll the edges of the cut phyllo sheets inwards to create a nice pie ending.
- Grease very well with oil and prick a few times with a knife.
- Sprinkle the sesame on top. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the pie gets a nice golden brownish color.
- Shake the pan to see if the pie is ready. If the pie moves in the pan when you shake it, it means the bottom is cooked as well.
- Let pie sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before cutting and serving.
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