Thursday, 30 June 2011

the tale of 'pie': a delicious two part epic

Part 1: its greece 1983 and i am there visiting relatives with my greek born husband and my children
while we were there we went with my brother in law, on his recommendation, to an area north of my husband's home town of jannina to a place called vikos gorge. When we arrived in the village of monodendri, which is the town closest to the gorge, my brother in law suggested that we go to a particular restaurant in the village and order lunch so that it would be ready when we returned from our explorations. my brother in law had told us that he was ordering a pie and having had many greek pies i expected it to be similar to those i had already sampled. we did our explorations of the area and duly returned to the restaurant after an hour or so as we had been advised by the owner. after a few minutes a huge tapsi, over 2 feet in diameter with a delicious looking pie in it, was produced. it was a great surprise to me because it was quite different to what i had expected and it was quite different to any other pie i had eaten in greece before. that's because it it had no pastry and secondly it was very thin sort of like a cross between a crepe and a pizza. it had a softish but not too moist dough studded with feta and a crisp base and edges. On and off since then i have thought about 'pie' and I have searched recipe books for 'pie', despite not knowing it's name, and i have tried reproducing it using a crepe batter but 'pie' has eluded me.

Part 2: its 2011 and i have returned to australia from a trip to greece with my children

my adult children and i have a meal together once a fortnight at my place where i get to play in the kitchen. this week was our first meal together since returning from greece so i decided to have a greek meal to continue the whole happy greek vibe we had going on there. anyway for some inexplicable reason 'pie' appeared in my head the morning of our dinner and so i did a bit of an online search and i found a recipe for what looked and sounded like long lost 'pie' called 'alevropita' which means flour pie. in actual fact i found two recipes. i chose the one that sounded like original 'pie' and made it as part of our meal not having any idea whether it would come up to scratch. just in case you're wondering i made a warm 'weed' salad of homegrown stinging nettles, chicory, dandelion, rocket and rainbow chard, tzatziki sprinkled with sumac and lamb cutlets marinated in olive oil, oregano, maniot salt, that i brought back for greece (customs know about it!), and pepper that were grilled on a ridged plate and drenched in lemon juice. sweets was greek rice pudding served in ceramic pots, pots that i had brought back from greece that originally had yoghurt in them, and dusted with cinammon. well, no more suspense dear readers. the pie i made was as delicious as long lost 'pie' so if you want to try 'pie' the recipe is here and there's a photo too. jane



  1. I've just spent a happy time following your links and reminiscing about weed salads. That pie sounds delicious - it's not one I ever came across, so must be very local to the area. I haven't heard the tinkle of goat bells for many years now, but Greece has a special place in my heart and memories. Thank you !

  2. thanks for your comment joanna..there are a lot of greek regional recipes that don't make it to the cookbooks or restaurants..but that applies to lots of cuisines..greek food in australia has taken a long time to become popular, although there are a few exceptions such as the ubiquitous souvlaki, dips like tzatziki and baclava, but thanks to a couple of high profile chefs things are changing..jane

  3. I stayed one winter in Crete, cleaning taverna floors, picking olives, generally wandering about and making a nuisance of myself I remember the goat stew on Sundays but chiefly weed salads and many lentil dishes and lots of raw onion and garlic, no one would speak to me when I came home to England on account of my garliccy aroma, and I was whippet thin on a diet of hard work and Cretan food.

  4. and i bet it was used to get down to -15 C where i lived in the north of greece..within 5 minutes of putting our washing on the line it would be frozen solid.. jane