Greek Koftopita - Cheese and Cracked Wheat Pie with Handmade Filo

"The mountainous region of Epirus, in northwest Greece, is particularly famous for its pies, as well as for its wonderful dairy products, including its PDO feta. Some of the region’s many pies are made for special occasions, including this koftopita, which is rich and filling, with milky and buttery aromas."


Salt of the Earth by Carolina Doriti (Quadrille Books, £27) Photography © Manos Chatzikonstantis 2023

READ MORE: How to make filo pastry by hand

Ingredients for Greek Koftopita

How to make Greek Koftopita Pie

  1. Place the cracked wheat in a fine sieve and rinse under running water, then drain. Pour 100ml (31/2fl oz) water into a medium pot, place over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the wheat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until most of the water is absorbed. Add the 130ml (4½fl oz) milk and salt and continue to simmer for 5–10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent it from sticking, until the milk is absorbed and the cracked wheat is cooked. Remove from the heat, mix with a spoon and allow it to cool down for 5–10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then mix in the crumbled feta. Once the wheat has slightly cooled, gradually spoon it into the egg mixture with the butter and stir well to incorporate. Mix in the remaining 100ml (3½fl oz) milk, adjust the salt, if necessary, and add black pepper to taste.
  3.  Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/ 475°F/gas mark 8 (use a conventional oven setting, if possible). Pour some olive oil into a small bowl.
  4. Using a brush, generously grease the base and sides of the tin with olive oil. Using the rolling pin to lift the filo pastry, carefully transfer the first filo sheet into the centre of the greased tin, making sure it properly sits in the base and that the filo reaches beyond the edges of the tin.
  5. Brush with olive oil. Repeat with the second filo sheet, without greasing it with oil. Spoon in the filling, spreading it out evenly with the back of a spoon. Using the same brush, sprinkle a bit of olive oil on the filling and lightly grease the excess filo around the edges. Fold the excess filo over the filling all the way around the tin. Brush these folded-in sides with a bit of olive oil. Place the next filo sheet on top of the filling and brush with a generous amount of olive oil (the top filo sheets need a bit more olive oil in order to be nice and crispy in the end). Repeat with the remaining filo sheet.
  6. Using scissors or a knife, trim the excess filo around the edges, leaving about 2–3cm (¾–1¼ inches). Twist the edges inwards, going all the way around to seal the pie and form a nice rim (for best results follow my step-by-step photos on pages 64–65).
  7. Using a sharp knife, score the pie, brush generously with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of water on top. Place on a low oven shelf, turn the oven down to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6 (still on the conventional setting, if possible) and bake for 10–15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 35–40 minutes, or until golden and crispy on top. For best results, spray it with a bit of water two or three times while it is baking.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool down for at least 30 minutes before you cut into it.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024


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