Easy Cheese Pie (Tyropita)
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12 to 12 servings
Greek cheese pie looks so magnificent you'd think it has to be difficult. Actually, it's a cinch, a spectacular dish that goes together quickly and easily. Remember to defrost your frozen store-bought phyllo (pronounced fee-low) pastry in the fridge overnight before using. And don't let tears in the raw phyllo alarm you - flaky is the operative word in this creation. (Leftover dough can be refrozen.)
- 1 454-g box frozen phyllo pastry , (such as Krinos), defrosted
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 500 g feta , well rinsed and drained (to remove excess salt)
- 1 450-g tub ricotta
- 5 eggs , well beaten
- 2 tbsp dill , (or 2 tsp dried)
- Remove defrosted phyllo from the fridge, lay out flat, cover with a damp tea towel and keep at room temperature for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Butter or oil a 13 x 9 x 2 in. (4 L) baking dish. In a small saucepan on medium-low heat, melt butter. Whisk in olive oil. In a large bowl, crumble feta. Add ricotta, eggs and dill. Using a potato masher, combine until uniform and thoroughly blended. Line the bottom of the pan with two sheets of phyllo laid crosswise with edges hanging over sides, and two sheets laid lengthwise edges hanging over, brushing each sheet once it is in the pan with the butter-oil mixture.
- Spread about a cup of cheese mixture thinly and evenly across the phyllo base. Cover with another sheet, laid lengthwise, brush with butter-oil mixture, and repeat layers until cheese is finished. Once it is, lay two sheets of phyllo crosswise over the cheese, brushing with butter-oil. Take all the pastry hanging over the sides and fold inwards to create a neat parcel within the pan. Brush the top with butter-oil mixture. Cover with 4 half-sheets of phyllo. Brush each with butter-oil.
- Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the pie from the top of the pastry surface to the bottom of the pan, into sixths. (This part can be a bit tricky; ease any filling back under the pastry and the whole thing will bake up beautifully.) Cut a diagonal slash across each sixth, to create a diamond pattern, producing 12 triangles. Bake in oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until flaky and golden with the pie pulling away slightly from the sides of the pan.