Prasopita (Leek Pie)
Prasopita (Leek Pie with Home-Made Fillo Pastry) has everything - crispy, crunchy fillo; sweet and juicy leeks; creamy-feta salt bursts... it is an eating sensation!
For the fillo dough...
500 g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1-1/4 cups tap water, warm
clean damp towel
For the flour-cornflour mixture (used to dust the fillo with as you roll it out)...
500 g plain flour
150 g cornflour
For the filling...
350 ml olive oil extra virgin
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
3 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup rice, medium grain
180 g feta
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Preparing the fillo dough...
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and vinegar and rub it into the flour
Slowly add one cup of warm water and completely combine it with the flour mixture, so that it forms a soft, workable dough that doesn’t stick to your hands or the bowl
Depending on the type of flour you use, you may need to add extra water to make the dough soft
Turn the dough onto a kitchen bench and knead it for 1-2 minutes, flouring the bench a little if you need to
Place the dough in a bowl, cover it with a damp towel and leave it to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour
Preparing the leek filling
Top and tail the leeks and remove any coarse outer layers
Slice the leeks in half lengthways and then slice each half lengthways again
Coarsely cut the leeks into 4cm segments
Wash the leeks thoroughly to separate out the leek layers and remove any traces of dirt
Allow the leeks to drain
In a large pot, heat 350ml of EVOO on high until it is very hot
Add the leeks and maintain the heat on high
Stir in the cracked black pepper and the salt
Continue to stir and cook the leeks until their colour brightens and much of the water they release has cooked off
Stir through the rice and turn off the heat
Allow the leeks to cool completely before crumbling in the feta and stirring through the beaten eggs
Preparing the flour-cornflour mixture...
Combine500g of plain flour with 150g of cornflour well. This flour-cornflour mixture is used to dust the fillo whenever it gets a little sticky as you are rolling it out
Preparing the fillo pasty...
After the dough has rested, divide it into 8portions and roll each portion into a ball. Return 7 of the balls to the bowl and cover again with a damp cloth
Take the one ball of dough, and shape it with you hands to form a disc
Place it on a floured work surface and, using the fillo rolling pin, roll it out one way and then the other to form around disc approximately 20cm in diameter
Wrap the dough disc fairly tightly around the fillo-pastry rolling pin. Then, starting with both hands in the middle of the fillo-pastry rolling pin, press the fillo lightly while moving your hands away from each other. Repeat this pressing/drawing action 2-3 times
Unravel the fillo sheet and rotate it90 degrees on your work surface
Wrap the fillo onto the rolling pin again
Again, starting with both hands in the middle of the fillo-pastry rolling pin, press the fillo lightly with your fingers or palms, while moving your hands away from each other – repeating this pressing/drawing action 2-3 times
Again, unravel the fillo sheet and rotate it 90 degrees on your work surface
If the fillo becomes sticky, dust it with a little flour-cornflour mixture again
You continue to do this until your fillo is about 60cm in diameter
Generously oil the base of a 38cm diameter round pan or a square pan (40cm x ) and drape the fillo sheet across the pan and over the edge of the pan. Drizzle the sheet with olive oil
Roll out a second fillo sheet. The 2nd sheet is draped completely inside the pan and drizzled with EVOO
The 3rd fillo sheet drapes outside the pan and is drizzled with EVOO
The 4th fillo sheet is draped completely inside the pan
Add 2/3 of the leek filling to the pan
The 5th fillo sheet is draped completely inside the pan
Add the remaining filling to the pan
Fold in the draping parts of the 3rdfillo sheet and put a little filling on these folded areas
The 6th and 7th fillo sheets are draped completely inside the pan and drizzled with EVOO
The 8th fillo sheet is draped completely inside the pan
Fold in the draping parts of the 1st fillo sheet
Drizzle the top of the prasopita withEVOO and sprinkle some water on top too
Baking the prasopita...
Bake at 180°C fan-forced for 1 - 1 ¼ hours, until the top and base of the prasopita are golden brown
Serving the prasopita...
Allow the prasopita to cool for 30 minutes or so before serving with a salad for a ‘simple’ meal, or as side to your main meal or as part of a grazing buffet
Recipe makes 12-16 pieces