Tiropita – Greek Cheese Pie

This is the easiest and quickest Greek recipe I’ve made so far. You know, for a Greek recipe.

If you asked 10 people how to make cheese pie (or tiropita), I bet you’d get 10 different answers.  I’m sure most, if not all, would be delicious in their own way.  I’ve eaten of variety of them. Since I’m Greek, I suppose that’s to be expected. If you’ve never had it before or don’t know what it is, it’s a savory Greek cheese pie where the filling is a cheese mixture, mostly made of feta cheese.

I had never made my own cheese pie until Easter of this year.  I have to say that I’m super happy with how this turned out. I opted to not make it how my Yiayia (grandma) or my mom does. I was too nervous about what the family would think of it. (It’s almost impossible to compete with Yiayia’s and mom’s recipes). This one was a huge it!

I used feta cheese, Parmesan cheese, muenster cheese, and ricotta cheese for the filling. I even added a bit of fresh mint. It’s not minty by any means but I think it helps to balance out the saltiness from the cheeses.

Gosh, look at those glorious layers of crispy phyllo dough. Yes, I get side tracked easily, but how can you not. Don’t skimp out on the butter! Make sure to butter every layer of phyllo. It really does matter.

You can enjoy cheese pie hot, room temperature, or cold.  I love it the best when it’s room temperature or cold because I like the texture of the cheese filling once it’s had time to set. However, I challenge you to be able to wait that long. 😉

Tiropita – Greek Cheese Pie Recipe
(Makes a 9×13 inch pie)

Note: If your phyllo dough is in the freezer, then move it to the refrigerator the day before you plan to make the tiropita. Then take the phyllo dough out of the refrigerator 1 – 2 hours prior to making the tiropita. This will help avoid/minimize breaking the phyllo when you go to unroll it from the package.

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds crumbed feta cheese (equivalent to about 5 or 6 cups)
  • 2 ounces grated parmesan cheese (equivalent to about 1 cup)
  • 3 ounces shredded muenster cheese (equivalent to about 1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil.)
  • 1/2 pound phyllo dough
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (equivalent to 1 stick)
  • (optional) sprinkling of sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan and set it aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the crumbled feta cheese, grated parmesan cheese, shredded muenster cheese, ricotta cheese, finely chopped fresh mint, black pepper, eggs, and oil. Set this cheese mixture aside.
  3. Lay 1 phyllo sheet into the pan and brush melted butter on top of the sheet and up the sides.  Do this for 8 to 10 phyllo sheets. (Yes, it’s a pain, yes it’s worth it.)
  4. Add the cheese filling on top in an even layer.
  5. Lay 1 phyllo sheet on top of the cheese mixture and brush melted butter on top of the sheet.  Do this for the rest of the phyllo sheets, with melted butter on the top layer. (Still a lot of work and a lot of butter, still worth it.)
  6. (Optional) Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the buttered top layer.
  7. Cut (or score) it into 18 squares (or however big you want the pieces) prior to baking.  Phyllo is super fragile and crispy after it bakes, so this will allow you to portion it later without destroying it.
  8. Bake it in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  (I baked mine for 45 minutes.)

Adapted from: Dimitras Dishes

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