There have been rather a lot of baking recipes onRecipes Made Easy recently, so I did hesitate adding yet more in addition to my Bake Off Bakes. But, as autumn starts to settle in and slowly changes to winter, I think it is only natural we want to do more baking. Personally I’m not quite ready for rich stews yet but, on a chilly night, a pie can really hit the spot. I do hope you feel the same. Two of my favourite pies coming up, starting today with this delicious Spinach, Ricotta and Feta Pie and followed by a fabulous Steak Mushroom and Ale Pie later this week.
This pie is similar to the Greek pie Spanakopita which I have made many times. Unlike this recipe, however, Spanakopita uses filo pastry. The idea for this recipe came to me some time ago when I had some spinach to use, but did not have the filo pastry required to make it the way I usually do. My local shops stock puff pastry, but not filo, and I didn’t want to go all the way to the big supermarket. So I decided to use puff pastry and a loaf tin which worked well. Mr B prefers it to when I make it with filo so I have made a it a few times now. This Spinach, Ricotta and Feta pie is delicious served hot or cold. In summer I often serve it cold with salad, and on colder days with new potatoes and vegetables.
Step by step Spinach, Ricotta and Feta Pie
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 small onion or 2 shallots chopped
- 250 g spinach washed and shaken dry
- 200 g ricotta
- 200 g feta crumbled into small pieces
- 1 free range egg
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 375 g ready rolled puff pastry
- beaten egg to glaze
- Preheat the oven to 190℃ /170℃ Fan/gas mark 5. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion or shallots. Cook gently for a few minutes until softened.
- Add the spinach to the pan, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes until it has just wilted. Remove from the heat.
- Place the ricotta, feta and egg in a mixing bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. Season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the spinach to the pan and stir well to combine.
- Cut a lid for the pie from one end of the pastry, then use the remaining pastry to line the base and sides of a 450g loaf tin, leaving a little pastry hanging over the top of the tin.
- Spoon in the spinach mixture. Brush the edge of the pastry with a little beaten egg and place the lid on top.
- Press the edges together to seal, then trim away any excess pastry. Knock up the edges with a blunt knife and pinch together.
- Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg then pierce a couple of holes in the lid to allow the steam to escape.
- Bake for 40 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before carefully turning out to serve.
Hints, Tips and Variations
- I used ready rolled pastry because it was just about the right amount with little waste. If you use a block of pastry roll it out to about the thickness of a £1 coin.
- For a neat finish, cut the pastry for the lid first, using the loaf tin as a guide. Set aside, then use the remaining pastry to line the bottom and sides of the pan, patching together as necessary.
- I like to use a mixture of Ricotta and Feta cheese as I like the salty tang that the feta adds, but you could use just ricotta.
- Wash the spinach well and shake dry before adding to the pan. If the spinach produces a lot of moisture during cooking drain some of this off.
- Once the pie is covered, trim away any excess pastry and crimp the edges of the pastry by knocking the blade of a knife along the join. Then pinch into a scalloped edge.
- Make a couple of slits in the top of the pie to allow the steam to escape.