In terms of taxonomy ‘tyropita’ (cheese pie) is a family. It has two genera, depending on the type of surrounding dough – kourou or filo. Filo is the thin pastry you can buy, or, if you feel more courageous, prepare by yourself. Kourou dough by default contains yogurt or milk, is thicker, and more straightforward to make. The kourou variety is a common snack that children have in school and overprotective mothers pack for adolescents to have when traveling with boats to summer holidays. Here is our version:
Makes about 20 mini cheese pies
- 300ml extra virgin olive oil
- 300ml buttermilk, lukewarm
- 8g dry yeast
- 580g all purpose flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 250g feta cheese, crumbled
- 150g anthotiro cheese (or ricotta), crumbled
- 70g gruyère cheese, grated
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp milk and 2 Tbsp olive oil for glazing
- sesame or nigella seeds (optional)
In a bowl combine the sifted flour and the salt. In another large bowl dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm buttermilk, add the olive oil and mix well. Gradually add the flour to the liquid mixture and mix with a spoon or a spatula. When almost all your flour has been added knead with your hands until your dough becomes soft and just a little bit sticky.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan) and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
In a bowl add the crumbled feta, anthotiro, grated gruyère, egg, nutmeg and black pepper and mix with a fork.
Cut little balls of dough in the size of apricots. Flatten with your palm on a lightly floured surface into small round thin discs. Place a teaspoon full of the cheese filling in the center of the disc and fold to close, making a half moon shape.
Use a fork to seal the edges and transfer to the baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
In a small bowl combine the milk and the olive oil and brush the tops of the cheese pies and sprinkle with the sesame or nigella seeds, if using.
Bake for about 25 minutes in the middle rack of your oven until golden. Serve warm or in room temperature.