Tiropita

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From www.foodfanatic.com, by Rebekah Garcia Kalinowski
Tiropita

Tiropita Photo

There are many things I love about summer, one of which is the local food festivals. One of my favorites to attend is the Greek Festival. Where I’m from, Greek Festivals are in abundance, so there is never a shortage of baklava and gyros! However, my favorite item to order is the tiropita, which are the most amazing feta cheese pies.

Not many people are familiar with tiropita, but you may have heard of spanakopita. Spanakopita is layers of phyllo dough filled with a spinach and feta mixture. Tiropita is very similar, but the focus is all on the cheese!

One bite of these crispy pies and you’ll know why. The feta filling is salty, tangy and creamy all at the same time. The light flakiness of the crust provides the perfect balance. They make wonderful appetizers or you can make a light dinner of them by serving with a salad.

Tiropita Picture

The first time I attempted making these on my own, I was a little intimidated by the phyllo sheets. They are tissue paper thin and tear easily if not handled gently. But after putting together my first layer, it was an absolute breeze. I want to make everything with phyllo now!

Tiropita Image

Basically you create a layer of three sheets of phyllo with butter brushed in between each layer: phyllo, butter, phyllo, butter, phyllo. Then you cut the phyllo into strips. A pizza cutter comes in handy here. The strips can be any size you want — about 4 inches wide if making as an appetizer, or 7 inches wide if eating as a snack or side dish. There are no rules.

Tiropita Pic

Place a dollop of filling at one end, taking care not to use too much filling. Overstuffing the pies will result in leakage during baking. I had a little cheese bubbling through, but you definitely don’t want filling all over the bottom of the pan.

The pies are then rolled up from corner to corner in the shape of a triangle. I’ve included a handy GIF for assistance, as well as the detailed instructions in the recipe. Opa

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Tiropita Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound feta cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • very small pinch of nutmeg
  • 8 ounces phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mash together the feta cheese, eggs, yogurt and pinch of nutmeg. Mixture will be slightly lumpy, but mostly smooth.
  3. Using thawed phyllo dough, lightly brush one sheet with melted butter. Top with another sheet of phyllo, and brush again with butter. Top with final sheet of phyllo. Do not butter last sheet. You will have 3 layers of phyllo with melted butter in between. Be sure to keep extra phyllo dough covered with a damp cloth while working.
  4. For medium triangles, cut dough into 4 strips about 4.5 inches wide. Use 1 tablespoon of filling. For large triangles, cut dough into 2 strips about 7 inches wide. Use about 2 tablespoons of filling.
  5. Place filling at the end of 1 strip. Take the left corner and fold it in half over the filling so that it forms a small triangle. Take the triangle point on the right and flip it up. Taking the right corner, fold it over to the left side to keep the triangle shape. Take the triangle point on the left side and flip it up. Repeat these steps until you’ve reached the end of the strip. Continue with remaining phyllo until none remains.
  6. Place triangles on a baking sheet and brush tops with melted butter. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

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