Wednesday, 6 August 2014

spiral cheese pie with home made phyllo and ricotta (strifti tyropita)

i don't have a bucket list of places i want to go and things i want to see but there are some food related things i want try making again or make for the first time..phyllo pastry has been on my try again list for a long time..i'd made it in greece a couple times and once more years and years ago when i first came back to australia..i had a sense of trepidation at the thought of tackling it again though..who knows why because it wouldn't have been a big deal had it not turned out ok..bins are good for dealing with cooking disasters..

spiral cheese pie with home made phyllo and ricotta (strifti tyropita)
tea with hazel
2-3 serves



500 gms plain flour
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt (i used murray river salt that is less salty than conventional salt)
2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons (tbs) fresh lemon juice


1 cup milk
1/2 cup pure cream
large pinch salt 
1 tbs fresh lemon juice or cider vinegar

cheese filling

100 gms feta crumbled
50 gms grated parmesan
50 gms grated kefalotyri
ricotta (from above recipe)
1 egg
1 spring onion cut fine
1-2 tbs mint or dill cut fine
1/2 tsp pepper


olive oil
sesame seeds



day 1

~ place flour, salt and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer and with the motor running add enough water to make a soft dough
~ knead the dough on low speed for about 5 minutes
~ remove the bowl from the stand mixer, cover the dough with a damp cloth, and rest for at least an hour
~ divide the dough into 10 pieces and knead into balls
~ rest covered for 1/2 hour
~ dust the work surface with flour and roll each piece of dough to about the size of a large bread and butter plate
~ stack the disks on top of each other between sheets of baking paper
~ place in a plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate overnight

day 2

~ liberally dust the work surface with flour and roll two of the pieces of the dough, using a long rolling pin, to large dinner plate size
~ carefully stretch the dough by hand to create transparent thin sheets being careful not to tear the dough* 


~ place the milk, cream and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil
~ take off the heat and add lemon juice or vinegar and stir once
~ leave to rest for a minute and then strain through muslin (i retain the whey for making bread)

cheese filling

~ mix all ingredients and refrigerate until needed


~ line a 22 cm diameter round tin with baking paper
~ brush each piece of phyllo with oil and divide the filling between the two sheets
~ gently spread the filling evenly over the surface of the phyllo
~ roll each piece into a long sausage
~ coil one sausage in the centre of the tin and, starting at the end of the first piece, place the second sausage in the tin
~ brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds
~ bake at 180 deg for about 45 minutes or until well browned


* the dough may tear a little, particularly on the edges, but that doesn't effect the final outcome of the pie
~ unused phyllo will keep for two to three days
~ to make a larger pie to feed extra people increase the ricotta and cheese filling proportionally 

one off the list..and no bin needed!

post publication note: i've made phyllo a couple of times since posting this recipe and i've found that if the dough is rested for an hour it doesn't necessarily need overnight resting..overnight resting is useful though for getting part of the work done ahead of time..


  1. SO many good things here Jane! Homemade phyllo dough, homemade ricotta, homemade gorgeous spiral delicious cheesy pie and I am in complete awe of your culinary talent after this post. I had hints of your genius through past posts but this one makes me bow to your phyllo abilities. You are my new pastry guru :)

    1. fran thanks for your kind words but phyllo making is not difficult at all..seriously..phyllo dough is quite different from other's really pliable and so it stretches easily..not sure how i'd get on with huge sheets of dough but spiral pies are my favourites anyway so smaller sheets of phyllo are sufficient for day i'll have a go at the larger sheets though..just because..

  2. Sounds fab Jane, I never knew phyllo could be so easy. I made puff not so long ago and thought that was smart. :) Now to phyllo.

  3. it is easy glenda and great fun to make..i found it exciting the way the dough just stretched and stretched until it was like a delicate fabric..i'm looking forward to hearing about yours if you make the way..this dough is only suitable for savoury dishes..i made one yesterday that's suitable for sweet dishes that i'll post soon..

  4. Wow Jane...this is impressive. So much homemade goodness. I can almost smell that pie. I think I have just added phyllo to my things-to-bake-and-try list too! x

    1. thanks i said to fran and glenda it's easier than i mother in law used to get up at 5 am to make her phyllo but they ate the main meal at lunch time so she had to start early to have it ready on time..and the phyllo she made was so huge she'd have to lay it on sheets on the floor..mine were of a more manageable size..

  5. I have never yet made phyllo, but I have made your pie twice in the last week with cheaty bought theos filo from the supermarket and my friend E who is mad about cheese was in heaven, so she tells me, so all good. The theos filo is very fragile so I found myself using two sheets at a time, I bet your home made stuff has more stretch... one day... and in the meantime happy new year from me !