November 20, 2009
The pumpkin chronicles continue! This time we have something a little bit different – a savoury Greek-style pumpkin pie, also known as kolokithopita. When I first saw this over at Closet Cooking, I was intrigued. I felt like I wanted a little more flavours incorporated into my pie, so I combined a few recipes and came up with this version of kolokithopita. It resembles spanakopita, except instead of spinach and dill, the phyllo pastry is rolled around a slightly sweet and salty pumpkin and feta mixture. It’s like tiropita, Greek cheese pie, but with the great taste of pumpkin!
I am a fan of this! It’s not as good as my beloved spinach pie, but it is a nice change of pace. The pumpkin mixture is heavy on the feta, leaving nice chunks of salty, tangy cheese that play extremely well with the mellow pumpkin puree (some recipes add ricotta to this mixture as well, which I think I would try next time!). I added honey and nutmeg to the pumpkin filling, which added a necessary sweetness to it (next time, I may even add a bit more), and the nutmeg was a perfect hint of spice.
The flaky, light and buttery phyllo was awesome, and I ended up using two sheets of phyllo, with melted butter painted across between the layers. I spooned the filling along one long edge of the pastry to the edges, folded in the edges, and rolled it up into a tube. I stuck the tube into a springform pan, and repeated this process until I had what looked like a phyllo and pumpkin snail. For a visual cue, check out After Apple-Picking’s site).
I preferred the pie the following day – I felt right out of the oven, it was a tad dry. The phyllo absorbing some of the wetness from the pumpkin helped a lot in fixing that problem. It was absolutely great the next few days, heated in the microwave! I used a 9” springform pan, so I think I ended up not having enough filling (hence the dryness). Next time, I’d probably use a smaller pan, or increase the filling.
Phyllo pastry (thawed overnight in the fridge)
2 cups pumpkin puree
¾ cup crumbled feta
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Crumble feta into a mixing bowl. Add eggs, nutmeg and honey, then mash and mix up with a fork until combined. Add pumpkin and season with salt and pepper. Mix with fork.
3. Brush tin or tray with melted butter to grease.
4. Spread pastry out and brush all over with melted butter. Join two sheets with butter and use as one. Spoon filling along one long edge of pastry almost to the edges. Fold in edges, then roll the pastry away from you to form a tube. Fit into tin, bending gently to curve. Repeat until the spiral is complete. You should have some butter remaining – use this to brush over the top of the pie generously.
5. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve straight from the pan.
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