Today I made one of our favourite treats : feta cheese pie.
Now, normally I’d say that pies are poor man’s food. Seriously, they are mostly carbs and fat.
Several years back, I had to get to Granada in Spain; I was invited to give the keynote at a small and specialised workshop.
Getting from Manchester (UK) to Granada (Spain) is not a trivial task. My choice was to fly from Manchester and change three times or fly from Liverpool to Malaga and be picked up by a car. Of course, I chose the second option. When I landed in Malaga a nice Spanish guy was waiting to take me to Granada. On the drive, we passed olive groves which I still find impressive.
I don’t know how but we started talking about what people in different countries have for breakfast. My driver, told me that ‘his people’ have a slice of bread with olive oil and paprika on it.
“I know this” – I said – “I had it when I was a child, when I was too impatient to eat a proper meal. We call it ‘gypsy pie’”
“Told you!” – he said with a white smile – “My people.”
He ended up inviting me to the famous caves of Granada where Spanish gypsies live and have authentic flamenco dancing clubs. But this is probably something for another post.
Today I recalled this story because I made what my grand-mother used to call ‘the gypsy in rags that is not ashamed to stand in front of kings’ or feta cheese pie.
In Bulgaria we call it ‘banitza’; Turkish people call it ‘burek’ and the Greeks know it as boureki.
It is the same thing and it is delicious. There are different recipes some of which are complicated and the hardest part is to prepare the pastry (filo pastry).
My mum used to make filo pastry for her famous feta cheese pie. It is very thin; the rule my mum used is that you stop spreading the pastry when you can read the newspaper through it. She was good at that!
I can’t make it; it is a good thing that today you can buy the pastry in most shops (you can buy it in TESCO, for example; I’ve heard they have filo pastry in ALDI but haven’t seen it myself).
Tonight I’ll share with you an easy, lazy and fast recipe for feta cheese pie.
This is what you need:
- Filo pastry (one packet) (£1.75) –the thinner the filo pastry the better
- Five eggs (£1)
- 200g feta cheese (the price depends on where you get it; in TESCO it costs £1.50 and in ALDI about £1)
- 50g un-salted butter
- A dash of fizzy water
Melt the butter and spread a bit of it on a tray. Then take a sheet of filo pastry, wrinkle it in your hand and spread it in the tray. Put several sheets, spread a bit of melted butter and put one third of the crumbled feta cheese. Continue laying the pie and spread melted butter and feta cheese twice more (you can decide to divide the feta in four bits; this doesn’t matter).
Place several sheets of filo pastry on top and spread the last of the melted butter.
Cut the pastry in pieces in the tray (it doesn’t really matter how large these are but if you are doing this for guests probably smaller pieces will be more elegant).
Beat the eggs and add a dash of fizzy water. Pour the eggs on the pastry and swivel around till all the liquid has been absorbed.
Put the feta cheese pie in the oven (electric fan over at 170C) for about 30 minutes.
When ready, take it out of the oven and cover with a clean towel for five-ten minutes. Serve warm and we love eating it with yoghurt.
One tray is enough for four people with healthy appetite.
Making a tray of feta cheese pie costs about £4 and is not the cheapest thing you could make. But it is such a tasty treat!
Try making it a let me know how did it go?
Oh, and I also wanted to let you know that during the last two weeks The Money Principle was included in the following personal finance carnivals:
Yakezie Carnival at Reach Financial Independence
Lifestyle Carnival at My Life, I Guess…
Carn of MoneyPros at Money Pros
Fin. Carn. for Young Adults at Your PF Pro
Carn. of Fin. Camaraderie at The Value Geek
Carn. of Financial Planning at See Debt Run
And we made it again amongst the five top articles spotted by WiseBread: my article on the fifteen ways to make money enough to pay your bills for a month was included in this round up.
This is it for now and will speak soon.