One of the Greeks most favorite foods are pies. And especially cheese pies. Pies in Greece, are considered some kind of a unique specialty. They are a food that gives a Greek a homey feeling. Growing up in a Greek home it’s a dish that the mother or grandmother usually masters.Pies, other than being sooo delicious, also give you the opportunity to have a piece whenever you are hungry.
Crispy, Cheesy, Breakfast
It doesn’t matter if it’s morning, lunchtime, afternoon or night. They can be a healthy fulfilling snack at all times during the day. Especially in the morning, cheese pies are what 60% of Greeks prefer to have for breakfast.Which they usually have, when they pass from a Greek bakery while heading to work in the morning (they really warm up your day).
Homemade Phyllo Or Phyllo Pastry Sheets?
The homemade pies though are treated with respect. Because usually, they’re made with homemade phyllo. Which is really the best to have In a pie. And especially a Spinach Pie (Spanakopita).
Making homemade phyllo though can take quite some time. In the past, that was really OK. People had plenty of time on their hands. On today’s life rhythms though, readymade phyllo pastry sheets are here to save the day. Ready-made phyllo pastry sheets have a big advantage other than their easiness of use and time-saving. They are 100% crispier.
Greek Pie Varieties Shapes And Sizes
There are so many different versions of pies in Greece. Of course, the cheese pies and spinach pies are the ones that everyone loves unexceptionally. Some others that are really famous also, are Leek Pie (Prasopita), macaroni pie (Makaronopita) Chicken Pie (Kotopita, a more modern entry) Zucchini Pie (Kolokuthopita, one of my personal favorites) and so much more, depending on the location.
If you visit an island in Greece, you may see a fish pie as well. If you visit the mountainside, you will come across pies using sausages and wild herbs from the mountains.
To give you an example of the meaning of pies in Greece, imagine they are like what pizza is to Italians. Pizza used to be called the food for the poor. Depending on what you had available, you would add it to the dough and bake it. That’s exactly what pies were in Greece. A big pan of a pie was the best solution to feed the whole family.
Of course, each pie comes in all different types of shapes and sizes. Like this cheese pie recipe, that derives from the Northern part of Greece. About 10 different cheese pie varieties come to my mind right at the moment.
Why You Should Try The Spiral Snail Cheese Pie
The reason I wanted to share this specific cheese pie recipe, is that its one that seems to amaze everyone. I believe because It’s the most crispy of all. Made with feta cheese, béchamel cream (super easy, only 5 minutes to make) a bit of Greek yogurt, that makes the filling very creamy and a pinch of Gruyère that gives it a savory yumminess.
All wrapped up in a circular snail-like form and baked until golden brown and super crispy. A piece of this pie is absolutely delightful to have right as it comes out of the oven. Warm cheese filling and soooo crispy pastry. I totally recommend you to give it a try!
I made this pie in a 10-inch round baking pan it’s the perfect size to fit all of the phyllo.
If you like Cheese Pies, then you shouldn’t miss this Classic Version Of Greek Cheese Pie.
Greek Snail Shaped Cheese Pie Recipe With Feta, Yogurt And Béchamel Cream Filling
For the filling:
- 65 grams sunflower oil
- 100 grams all purpose flour
- 400 grams milk
- 65 grams greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 200 grams Greek feta cheese
- 20 grams Gruyère cheese grated
For the pie:
- 1 pack 450 grams phyllo pastry sheets
- 60 grams sunflower oil for greasing
- a splash of olive oil for greasing
For the filling:
- In a medium sauce pan whisk together the 65 grams of sunflower oil with the flour.
- Heat over medium heat by whisking constantly.
- Once the flour gets a nice golden color , add the milk slowly.
- Continue whisking until you have a nice thick cream. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Mix in the yogurt, egg, feta and Gruyère cheese.
For the pie:
- Preheat oven to 210°C/410°F. Lay open the phyllo sheets on your working surface.
- Grease a 10- inch round pan with a good splash of olive oil.
- Take one phyllo sheet and lay it flat. Grease with sunflower oil, using a pastry brush. Spread lengthwise a 1cm thick line of the filling. (Leave a 1cm empty space on each end of the phyllo so the filling won't come out when rolling)
- Start rolling the phyllo gently, towards it's other end.
- Add the 1st phyllo roll into the outer side of the pan. Press softly so it will fit exactly to the walls of the pan.
- Continue the same process until you fill the pan. (NOTE: every time you add a new phyllo roll into the pan, make sure to secure it's ending under the previous phyllo roll)
- Grease with sunflower oil. With a toothpick prick the pie all around so the steam will be able to come out while baking and not the filling.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 210°C/410°F.
- Reduce heat to 180°C/356°F and bake for another 20-30 minutes.
- Shake the pan to make sure the pie is cooked at the bottom (shouldn't stick to the pan).