Homemade pie with leek, cheese and smoked paprika. A pie that made my grandmother say “Wow Teti, what a crispy phyllo this is!”.
Hearing my grandma saying that my pie is delicious and crispy was something I couldn’t even imagine. If my grandma says that a pie is delicious, then be sure that we are talking about an awesome pie. But what was the reason behind this huge approval by my grandma’s palates? The reason was nothing else but the crispy homemade phyllo.
How to make a crunchy phyllo
In Teti’s flakes I have already published a recipe for easy Greek phyllo pie dough. I used the same recipe for making this pie, with one difference. The fat. This time I have used lard instead of margarine. The result was quite different, the phyllo was crispier than ever. Wanna know everything about lard, just click here.
Also, there are two more things that will lead you to a crispy phyllo: adding fine semolina to the pie and let it cool outside the pan.
Add some fine semolina to the pie after laying the bottom phyllo before spreading the filling. The semolina will absorb the extra moisture from the filling, and thus the bottom phyllo of the pie will remain crispy.
In addition, if we remove the pie from the baking pan and let it cool on a cooling rack, then again we will help it to remain crispy. If the pie cools inside the baking tray, the trapped high temperature will create humidity that will get absorbed by the phyllo. We don’t want this to happen.
A light filling
For sure, a crispy phyllo will make your pie to shine in everyone eyes. But the filling of a pie also has an important role. So, I chose to add leeks, fresh onions, feta cheese and smoked paprika to this pie.
I won’t say much about the leek-cheese combination, it is a must try combination when it comes to pies. But I have to say few words about the smoked paprika, which pairs incredibly with the leek, and for the leek itself too. Having in mind not to add more fat to the pie I decided not to sautée the leek in olive oil, but to soften it by adding hot boiled water.
Homemade pie with leek, cheese and smoked paprika
- 34cm diameter round pan
- 1 easy Greek phyllo, recipe here
- 3 tbsp fine semolina
- 600 gr leek, the white part
- 60 gr fresh onions
- 300 gr feta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 4 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- Prepare the dough for Greek pie here and at the same time start making the filling.
- Clean the leeks and onions from the dry pieces. Cut into thin slices.
- Add the vegetables to a deep frying pan and add hot boiled water, enough to cover them.
- Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the water evaporates. If the vegetables have softened and the water has not evaporated, strain them.
- In a large bowl, add the vegetables and grate the feta cheese. Stir until well combined.
- Then add the eggs, smoked paprika, salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir well and set aside.
- Grease a baking pan (I have used a round pan of 34cm diameter). Set aside.
- Roll out the bottom phyllo of the pie just a little larger than the size of the pan, so that we can make edges of the pie.
- Spread fine semolina on the pie and then filling. The semolina will absorb the extra moisture of the filling.
- Gently transfer the top phyllo of the pie over the filling and turn the edges of the bottom phyllo, inward and downward to form the edges.
- Cut the top of the pie with a sharp knife and drizzle with the olive oil. Gently brush the entire surface with the olive oil.
- Bake at the oven’s lower rack, at 200 °C (preheated) for 45-60 minutes or until the top is golden-brown.
- When ready, remove from oven and place your pie on a cooling rack. This will make your bottom of your pita crispier.
Now you know why some pies have such a crunchy phyllo. You have to dare and make your own lard, and you will impress everyone with this homemade leek pie.
Kids will love it, especially if you fill it with their favorite ingredients. You can add cheese and sausages and make it the perfect lunch for school, or even for work.
The older ones, however, will remain speechless about how crisp the phyllo is and how tasty and light the filling is. At least my grandmother was impressed, and she does not easily get impressed.