I finally get a chance to show off my mum making homemade spanakopita! Watch as she rolls out the fillo pastry and makes this iconic Greek pie.
This post is way overdue!
In all the years I've been blogging, I can't remember ever featuring my mother in a blog post.
How very Freudian of me!
Jokes aside, I'm quite proud to present you "Mrs G" rolling out some homemade fillo and making a simple homemade spanakopita.
A few years ago she suffered a stroke, and I never thought I'd see her in the kitchen again. Through much rehabilitation, she is back walking and talking, and I have to say a real trooper! I'm so proud of her!
Getting the pictures was quite a feat! I had to stand on a variety of chairs while my father yelled at me (some things never change!).
Greek fathers don't understand the concept of "getting the perfect shot". It was a lot of fun, and I hope to do this again with some of her other recipes.
How to make spanakopita
Again, making this spanakopita was quite a challenge in itself. My mother is "old school" where weights and measurements are pretty non-existent. Whenever we talk recipes, it's always "a bit of this"…" a bit of that"…" I think it's one cup"… She mostly cooks from memory and feel.
You get the idea.
After answering all my queries and putting up with my frustration, we had something.
A recipe that I could use for the blog.
Just be wary that your version of spanakopita may need a little tweaking. The filo itself is not perfect. And funny enough, I'm glad about that.
Getting the right consistency with fillo pastry involves real skill.
My mum chooses to roll her sheets with a "plasti".
The "plasti" is very similar to a rolling pin except it's long and thin and resembles a curtain rod.
In these pics my mother likes to roll her sheets out quite large, fill them up and shape them into a coil before cooking them in the "tapsi".
This homemade spanakopita is similar to the "traditional" spanakopita, but like all recipes, it varies. The first time my mother made it, I complained about the lack of herbs so when she made it a second time she included the dill and mint for me!
Anyway, I do hope you like the pics.
Enjoy your week, and I'll see you all soon.
If you're after something a little less laborious try my "hortopita" - wild greens pie. It's full of superfoods!
Homemade Spanakopita Recipe
- 3 cups flour, plain (all-purpose)
- 4 tablespoon olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup water
SPINACH AND FETA FILLING
- 1 kg spinach, washed and stems removed
- 2 tablespoon salt
- 250 g feta cheese
- 100 g ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 pinch white pepper
- ½ tablespoon dill, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon mint, finely chopped
- Place the flour in a large bowl and add the olive oil. Rub the olive oil through the flour until it is fully incorporated. Add the salt, sugar and enough water to form a dough.
- Knead the dough on a large floured surface for ten minutes until soft and elastic. Place it back into a large bowl, cover and allow to rest for ten minutes.
- Place the spinach leaves into a colander and sprinkle over the salt. Allow the spinach to rest for ten minutes. Squeeze excess water from spinach using your hands. Place the spinach in a new bowl along with the feta, ricotta, pepper, eggs and herbs. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
- To make one coil or "snake" divide the dough into 3 pieces. Place one piece of dough onto a well floured surface. Using your "plasti" or wooden curtain rod proceed to roll the dough to form a circle. Continue rolling, ensuring there is enough flour between each roll. You should end up with one large thin piece of fillo.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the newly rolled fillo sheet and place ⅓ of the spinach mixture at the bottom end of the fillo sheet leaving a few cms from the border. Roll the fillo up gently ensuring it is shaped like a coil and place into a well-greased round baking dish. Repeat with the remaining fillo sheets and filling. Brush a generous amount of olive oil over the pita and bake in preheated 200 deg C oven for 45 mins until golden. Allow to rest for 10 mins. before slicing and serving.