Serious Eats: Recipes

Spanokopita-Style Hand Pies

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

A really good spinach pie is harder to make than it seems. The spinach and cheese must be balanced, neither overwhelming the other. The pie shouldn't be too rich or too watery, and the flavors should be bright, not too tangy or too washed out.

And that's just the filling! Filo crusts are fraught with danger and, as far as I'm concerned, a pain to work with at home. So I sidestep the issue by using puff pastry instead, which also allows me to fill and freeze the hand-pies before baking for storage.

I like my spinach pies with plenty of spinach and a blend of relatively mild cheeses. Go for a less assertive feta here, and if you can find it, manouri, a soft, meltable cheese made from the whey leftover from feta production. Nutmeg and lemon zest team up to add some verve to these pies, which are perfect for packing in lunch boxes or taking on picnics.

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