Tiropita (Greek Cheese Pies)

21 Nov

One of my absolute favorite foods growing up was my mom’s tiropitas. I don’t know if it was only the buttery flakiness of the fillo dough or the filling or the irresistible combination of both. When I was younger, my mom would make the tiropita (and spanikopita) in a pan like a tart, but more recently she’s been making them in appetizer friendly triangles. The fillo to filling ratio this way is perfect.

Tiropita

One box fillo dough
1 stick butter, melted (you may need more)
2 Eggs
Small container cottage cheese (I used small curd)
4-6 oz Feta
2 8oz bars cream cheese, soften
2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese

The night before you plan to make the tiropita thaw out your fillo dough in the fidge overnight. If you forgot to stick the dough in the fridge the night before, you can place it on the counter 2 hours before you are set to make the pies. Just double check the box in case the kind you bought may have different specifications.

It all starts with a combination of feta, soften cream cheese, cottage cheese and a little bit of Parmesan cheese. To hold it all together, add two eggs. The eggs help to puff the cheese up (does that make sense?) giving the filling a soufflé texture.

Once the cheeses are completely blended, you’ll need to melt one stick of butter. I used salted butter, though you can use unsalted without much difference in the taste.

As the butter is melting, you’ll need to prepare your fillo dough. First dampen two clean kitchen towels. Place the first one on your clean counter. On top of that place a length of wax paper. Take one roll of fillo from the box, and unroll it on top of the wax paper. Place another sheet of wax paper on top of that, then your second damp kitchen towel. This may seem like overkill, but it’s not. Without these precautions, the fillo dough will dry out and be especially tough to work with!

I used a pizza cutter to cut my fillo in half length-wise so that I can make the triangles.

Working with two sheets at a time, use a pastry brush to lightly coat your fillo with butter. Then at one end of the strip put approximately 1-1 1/2 tablespoon of the filling. Then carefully fold a corner up to the opposite edge of the fillo, as if folding a flag. With each fold lightly brush butter on the fillo.

Place each triangle on a baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper). Once your baking sheet is filled, you can either wrap the pan up and freeze to bake later or bake right away at 350° for about 15-20 minutes or until each pie is golden and flaky. If frozen, they may take slightly longer.

Alternatively, brush melted butter on a 9×13 pan and layer with full sheets of fillo, brushing butter on each layer. Once there are 8-10 sheets, pour filling over fillo and then layer 8-10 sheets of fillo on top, brushing butter on top of each layer. Bake at 350°, increasing baking time. Start checking at about 25 minutes. Bake until fillo is golden.

(Kanto)

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