Recipe – Greek Leek and Cheese Pie (Prasopita)

Greek Leek and Cheese Pie (Prasopita)
I love the Greek pies spanakopita (spinach and cheese) and tiropita (cheese). Then recently I discovered this Greek leek and cheese pie, which might just be the most delicious of all. Prasopita is popular in Greece during Lent, when devout Orthodox Christians abstain from eating meat before Easter, but I’m happy to eat it year round. Graviera is a semi-hard Greek cheese modelled on Swiss gruyere, which is a good substitute if you can’t find it. Although fillo pastry is traditional, I prefer stringy kataifi for the extra crunch; I use Antoniou brand made by a small family business in Sydney. I opened a bottle of Tim Stock’s Les Fruits Peu de Peau with this pie, a textural sauvignon blanc from my favourite wine area, Basket Range in the Adelaide Hills, and it worked a treat!

Serves 6

Ingredients
  • 4 leeks
  • 200g butter
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper,
    to taste
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100g graviera, grated
  • 100g feta, crumbled
  • 250g ricotta, crumbled
  • ¼ cup chopped dill
  • 375g kataifi pastry
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Slice the white and pale green part of the leeks. Wash and drain well.
  3. Melt 50g of the butter in a large frying pan, add leek, salt well and cook over medium-low heat, covered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender.
  4. Uncover, stir in green onion and wine, increase heat to high and cook for a few minutes, until virtually all of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool a little.
  5. Meanwhile, combine eggs, graviera, feta, ricotta, dill and pepper. Set aside.
  6. Melt remaining butter and use some to grease a 30 x 20cm baking dish.
  7. Place pastry in a large bowl and pull strands apart.
  8. Add butter and mix with your hands until all strands are evenly coated.
  9. Press half the pastry into the base of the baking dish.
  10. Stir leek mixture into the cheese mixture, taste and add more salt if needed.
  11. Pour into the baking dish, spreading it out so that it doesn’t quite reach the sides.
  12. Stretch remaining pastry over the filling, tucking it down at the sides to enclose the filling.
  13. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until pastry is golden; add top heat for the last few minutes if needed.
  14. Serve with a simple salad.

If using fillo pastry: lay 14 sheets of pastry on a flat, dry surface and cover with a clean tea towel. Brush the top sheet with butter and lay it, butter side up, into the buttered baking dish. Repeat with 11 more sheets, arranging them to line the base and sides of the dish with any excess hanging over the edge. Spoon the filling evenly into the pastry. Brush another sheet of pastry with butter, lay over the top of the filling and repeat with remaining sheet. Fold overhanging pastry from the sides over the top and brush with butter.
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