Saturday, 24 October 2009

Tyropitakia / Feta Cheese Pies: Individual Pies with Greek Yoghurt Based Dough and Feta cheese stuffing



Quite simply, there isn't a kid in Greece (or an adult for that matter) who doesn't drool at the idea of eating these treats. Kids especially love them because tyropitakia are often included in their lunch boxes. 

I hadn't made them in years and years ... But I would think about them often! Tyropitakia are made with feta cheese that's encased by a soft, delicious dough. Very, very easy to make and just irresistable!!!


It took three tries to come up with this recipe; I adjusted the original version which included butter because I wanted a recipe for tyropitakia that were made with oil. In my opinion, this new version is great! Replacing the butter with vegetable oil made the tyropitakia taste moister and lighter.

In this version, the dough wasn't as fluffy, and that's because it wasn't dry enough; I had added an egg to it just for experimentation. But the egg wasn't needed. Incidentally, the name of this dough is kourou, which is a colloquially used term to describe a drier type of dough. 

Ingredients:

for the dough:

250 grams all purpose flour
4 tablespoons olive oil
200 grams Greek yoghurt (strained yoghurt)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

for the filling (make sure ingredients are at room temperature):

2 eggs, beaten
250 grams feta cheese
3 ounces cream cheese 
3 ounces ricotta cheese
fresh chopped dill 
fresh chopped parsley

Additional ingredients:

1 egg beaten for the egg wash
sesame seeds for topping



Directions:

  • To make the dough combine the dry ingredients, mixing well
  • To the dry ingredients add the vinegar, yoghurt and olive oil. 
  • Mix by hand just until combined. Do not overmix. 
  • Place in the refrigerator and let rest for about an hour.
  • Prepare the filling: 
  • crumble up the feta and mix all the filling ingredients until incorporated.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C.
  • Dive the dough into three parts and then divide each part into small pieces. 
  • Roll each piece into a round. For perfect rounds use a mould such as the mouth of a drinking glass.
  • Add one teaspoon of filling at the centre of each round
  • Fold the dough over to create a half-moon shape.
  • Decorate the edges of the dough with the tines of a fork. This will also help to seal the edges. 
  • Place the tyropitakia onto parchment lined baking trays.
  • Brush the tops with egg wash and decorate with sesame seeds.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden. 
  • Take them out of the oven, turn off the oven, let the tyropitakia cool slightly, and after that, you know what to do, no directions needed.
  • These guys can definitely be frozen and thawed as needed.