Spinach Pie with Pita Crust

I love the spinach pies at my local Lebanese bakery with all their lemony spinach wrapped in a delicious fluffy pita crust. I’ve been wanting to make my own!

Whenever I search for recipes though, all I can find are ones with phyllo crusts.  Phyllo may be convenient since you can get it pre-made, but it always turns out soggy pies.  Since I can’t find any recipes for spinach pies with a pita crust, I decided to develop my own.  I mean, its just a spinach pie filling in pita, right?  Well, my guess was a good one and I was happy with the results.  Try for yourself.

Spinach Pie with Pita Crust
makes about 10 pies
2 1/2 hrs total: 60 min active time, 90 minutes inactive

Spinach Filling

  • 3 lbs cooked spinach or 3- 1 lb boxes of frozen spinach
  • 1/2 lb crumbled feta
  • 2 large lemons, juiced
  • 1 bunch of green scallions, chopped (about 1 1/2 c.)
  • 2 eggs
  • salt to taste

Pita Dough

  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast or 1 package
  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 c.  flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c. lukewarm water
  • 1-2 egg yolks for glazing pies

Make Pita dough: Because the dough for the pita needs to raise, we’ll start with that.  Mix yeast with warm water and let sit until foamy.  Add sugar and stir until dissolved.   In a mixing bowl, mix flour and salt.  Make a well and add yeast mixture.  Mix and stir while slowly adding another cup of warm water.  Mix until elastic.  I usually use my electric mixer when making bread dough, but pita dough is softer and I think works better when doing it by hand.

When the dough is elastic, place on a well floured surface and kneed until its no longer sticky.  The dough should be soft and elastic but not stick to your hands.  Keep flouring the surface if you need to.  Once kneeding is done, coat a bowl with a small amount of oil.  Place dough in bowl, cover with towel and allow to raise until doubled in size, about 60 – 90 minutes.**

**Time Saving Trick: To speed up this process, preheat oven to 250 degrees.  When dough is ready, turn oven off and place dough in an oiled oven proof bowl covered with a towel and put into oven. Dough should rise in 30 minutes.

Make Spinach Filling: In a saute pan, cook fresh or defrosted spinach until wilted.  Remove from heat and squeeze out excess liquid.  You will probably have to do this in a couple of batches as spinach cooks down quite a bit.  Saute scallions in a small amount of olive oil until clearish.  Mix spinach, scallions, feta, lemon juice and eggs and mix well.  Place in saute pan and cook gently until eggs just begin to turn whitish, but the mixture is still juicy.  Remove from heat.  Taste and season with salt to taste.

Assemble Spinach Pies: Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Seperate egg yolks from egg whites and place yolks in a bowl with a pastry brush. Remove dough from bowl and roll into a log.  Cut dough into 10 sections.  On a floured surface roll out dough to about an 8 inch circle.  Place ~1/4 c. filling in center.  Brush egg yolks over edges of dough and pinch together. Allow a small hole at center where you can see filling, this will allow steam to be release from the pie.  Using hands, press in at edges of pie to form a triangle.  Place on a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat.  Assemble all pies

Bake Pies: Once pies are assembled, cover with a towel and allow to raise for 15-20 minutes.  After raising, brush pies with remaining egg yolk.  Place in oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, until pies are golden brown.  Remove from oven, allow to cool and place in an air tight container.  Stays fresh for a week or so.

 

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