Spanakopita! A few months ago I visited a couple of different Greek restaurants where I had my first taste of the delicious flaky spinach and cheese pies called spanakopita. I love cheese and spinach so I had to learn how to make this at home. As always I researched my bake and put together what I think is the easiest and tastiest recipe. Don’t forget to keep reading to my tips, tricks, and a few don’ts that I did.
5 sheets of filo cut into 3 strip
1 package of frozen spinach squeezed and drained
4 ounces of feta cheese
1 tablespoon of flour
1/2 yellow onion chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh dill
2 eggs lightly beaten
3/4 melted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil in skillet on medium heat.
Slowly stir in onions and cook until softened.
Mix in flour, spinach and dill. Cook for 10 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Mix in feta and eggs.
Lay filo flat and brush strips with melted butter.
Add 1 tsp of mixture onto fillo strip and fold into triangles.
Place filo triangle onto baking sheet and brush top with butter.
Repeat the above 3 steps steps for the remaining filo strips.
Bake triangles for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Tips and Tricks and a Few Don’ts that I did
Be sure to cut a few extra strips of Filo. This type of dough is SUPER fragile. Be prepared to lose a few strips along the way.
After defrosting, draining, and squeezing your spinach it may seem like you won’t have enough for the bake. Don’t worry, that tiny ball of leafy goodness is plenty for this recipe.
Don’t forget to let your spinach and onion mixture cool before adding the eggs or you’ll risk getting an egg scramble.
I added the onion and dill for a little extra flavor in my pies, but you can leave them out or add more if you’d like.
Use damp paper towels to keep your filo moist in between folds.
Fold your filo strips like paper footballs. They won’t all be perfect and that’s okay. Keep folding and you’ll end up with the deliciousness in the picture below.
Someone once told me to call yourself a baker you have to not only know how to bake sweet bakes, but also savory bakes. For this week’s bake, I decided to take on that challenge and bake a savory bake. Below is the inspiration for this week’s blog and bake, along with the recipe and my tips and tricks and don’ts that I did.
A few weeks ago I learned how to make homemade chicken soup. A few days later I learned how to bake homemade Pop-Tarts. Soon after I had the idea to combine the two and make a savory pop tart. The chicken soup was amazing and the crust of the pop tart was the best I had ever made. Why not take two different delicious meals and combine them into one tasty tart? It was an adventurous idea for a new baker like myself, but I was determined to make it work. I thought about this bake every night while trying to fall asleep for over a week. I jotted down idea after idea like how to incorporate the broth of the soup into the tart without making a soggy mess. I was even worried I wouldn’t be able to recreate the flaky crust of my very first pop tart. Finally, I realized there was nothing left to think about. It was time to just bake it. And… big reveal…. it worked!! (the first time too). Ma’s Chicken Soup Pop-Tarts are made from a loaned chicken soup recipe, a lot of love (and overthinking), and they are one of the reasons I can now call myself a baker.
For the soup, the recipe I used is not mine to share…. but you can use any soup recipe you’d like. The trick to this bake is putting everything together.
Directions for Soup Filling
Strain soup, save 2 tablespoons of broth for the crust.
Add strained soup to saucepan on medium heat.
Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to saucepan and veggies.
Stir until cornstarch is dissolved.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Flaky Crust Ingrediants
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2 tablespoons of broth from the soup
Directions for Crust
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it is the size of peas and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and broth. Add to the dough. Mix together with a fork until everything is evenly moistened. Knead briefly on a floured surface.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough in half.
Roll out one piece of dough to about ⅛-inch thick, in a 9½ by 12½ rectangle. Using a sharp knife, pastry wheel or bench scraper, trim the rectangle to 9×12 inches.
Cut the sheet of dough into nine 3×4-inch rectangles. Using a spatula, transfer the rectangles to a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
Assembly Time! (the most important part of this bake)
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.
Brush the egg wash on each of the rectangles.
Spoon a tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, leaving a ½-inch of space around the edges.
Roll out and cut the second piece of dough in the exact same manner as you did the first. One at a time, place a second rectangle of dough on top of the nine assembled ones.
Using your fingers, press around the seams of the dough to make sure they are sealed.
Press the tines of a fork around the edges of the rectangles.
Prick the tops of the rectangles in multiple spots to allow steam to escape.
Refrigerate the pan with the pastries (you don’t need to cover them) for 45 minutes.
While the pastries are refrigerated, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the pastries for 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving. Store pastries in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Tips and Tricks and Don’ts That I Did
Don’t be afraid to try new things. This recipe was born out of a conversation weeks ago. I spent way too much time stressing about it. For this one specifically there wasn’t a ton of research to do. I should have trusted my gut and jumped right in the day the idea was born.
Don’t forget that cold butter is the KEY to flaky crust. I try to put my dough into the fridge a few times after I handle it. If you feel your dough getting sticky, it’s time to cool it down.
Don’t skip the cornstarch step. Straining gets out the broth, but the cornstarch gets out the moisture that would cause a soggy pastry. No one likes a soggy bottom.
Typically milk is used when making a crust, but I subbed in broth to give the Pop-Tarts some added chicken soup flavor. Feel free to stick with milk if you’d prefer.
Do have fun! Try this bake with whatever soup you like or even a jam. These pop tarts can be made so many different ways.