Pies do it. Pasties do it. Sticky Middle Eastern and Mediterranean candies do it. And so do some of SBS’s favorite chefs: pair pastry with cheese in unbeatable methods. It’s a diverse international own family, taking in the whole lot from superfine filo and strudel-style doughs wrapped around sweet and savory fillings to hearty pies making the maximum of robust, flaky, buttery pastries. Some even put the cheese IN the pastry, to double up on deliciousness (we are looking at you – longingly! – cauliflower cheese pasties).
If you, too, love the rich rewards of cheese-meets-pastry, here are a number of our favorite recipes.
It all begins with spanakopita …
We’re starting with this combination of vegetables, salty cheese, and flaky filo because on the subject of savory cheese and pastry recipes on SBS Food; this Greek traditional has claimed the top spot for years. Leading the way is Dimitra Alfred’s version from Food Safari, which combines spinach or silverbeet with three varieties of cheese and spring onions and layers it beneath buttery sparkling filo.
If you need to strive your hand at making your filo, Peter Gergakoloulos, of popular weblog Souvlaki For The Soul has shared with us his mum’s spanakopita recipe, which wraps her home-made filo round a filling that consists of English spinach, feta, ricotta, dill, and mint.
These are a ways from our handiest spanakopita offerings of course: you could exchange things up with spanakopita pies with tomato, fennel and chili sauce, from Greek Week in The Chefs’ Line; or this change, which uses butter puff pastry.
Before we roam directly to different corners of the globe, here’s one greater example of ways well Greece does a spinach and feta pie. This hortopita – wild greens pie – from northern Greece combines spinach, silverbeet, nettles or other bitter greens and sorrel, with Greek sheep’s feta. Six layers of domestic-made filo, brushed with a butter and olive oil aggregate, move under the filling, some other six above, creating an irresistibly golden, flaky pie.
There are three facets to this story
In the arena of cheese-filled pastries, there’s a special nook (see what we did there!) for triangular parcels, inclusive of this Albanian byrek. Made with a simple olive oil and flour dough and full of a combination of salty cheese, milk and egg, these are clean to make and terrific heat or bloodless.
You would possibly marvel why an entire host of Middle Eastern triangles, including Lebanese fatayer or Cypriot flaounes, aren’t claiming podium spots on this part of our listing. That’s because maximum of them are made with yeasted bread dough, so for the functions of retaining this list fairly contained (truly, it can move on for all time!), we’ve got drawn a line between bready triangles and non-leavened pastry triangles. Equally scrumptious, simply unique.
Is it a pizza, or is it a pie?
This pizza rustic, from Made in Italy with Silvia Colloca, is a savory pie – and made with pastry, no longer dough. Ricotta, pecorino, eggs and silverbeet or Swiss chard are baked internal layers of pastry. This is an excellent recipe if you need to do a part of the prep earlier, as the pastry may be made a day beforehand.
Call it pita (like this three-cheese Serbian recipe) or börek (including Shane Delia’s village-style sausage and feta parcels) or a swathe of different local names; there’s one thing this form of filled, rolled pastry has in common. When completed properly, they’re simply so properly. Some styles are made with a splendidly chewy dough, others with a skinny, light filo style. The fillings vary simply as lots. In this Turkish borek, the filling is genuinely cheese with parsley and feta, sharing the celebrity billing with a glorious domestic-made golden pastry.
We have so many cheesy pies that selecting only a few for this listing is an actual project. You can locate extra in our pie recipe collection, however here is a pattern: There’s Anneka Manning’s little open egg and bacon pies, with a mustard-spike shortcrust pastry; those Jewish knishes, little square parcels full of potato, onion, dill and two forms of cheese; and this Italian torta pasqualina, which as the call shows is traditional Easter fare, but equally proper at any time of year.