KO’s Prasopita (Leek Pie)

KO’s Prasopita (Leek Pie)


Eugene's Barbecued Octopus

When I was 22 years of age, I went on an extended back-packing trip around the world. While I was away, Eugene (my mostly good man) asked my mum to teach him how to make fillo pasty. He was 23 years of age and already concerned that this skill would be lost to future generations due to changing priorities and shifting life-styles. When I returned from my trip and heard this, I decided I needed to learn too. I am actually not a competitive person, but it didn’t feel right that I hadn’t taken the time to learn this skill from my mother and that it really was my responsibility to maintain this skill and one day pass it on to the next generation.

Since that time 30 years ago, I have made mostly one type of pita – prasopita – leek pie. It really is my favourite. Leeks are so sweet and juicy when cooked in olive oil and their flavour is so morish!! I can’t get enough of them.

The video created for this recipe gives you step-by-step instructions on how to make this delicious pita, including how to roll your own fillo pastry. Rolling your own fillo pastry is a skill that can be developed with patience and perseverance. Your first two or three sheets of fillo may be a little holy and odd shaped, but before you know it, you will understand how much pressure you need to apply to the fillo to stretch it out and when it needs to be dusted with extra flour, because it’s getting too tacky to work with. Layer by layer your pita will come to life, and the joy and satisfaction you experience when you sit down with friends and family to share the fruits of your labour, will be enormous.

The day Lucia filmed me making the prasopita, Ilyana was at home, and without discussion or warning, she joined me in the kitchen and had a go at making fillo. I hope you will be as curious and courageous as her and have a go too!

KO’s 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!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Keyword fillo pastry, leek, leek pie, pie, pita, prasopita

Ingredients

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...

  • 9 leeks
  • 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

Instructions

Preparing the fillo dough...

  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and vinegar and rub it into the flour

  2. 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

  3. Depending on the type of flour you use, you may need to add extra water to make the dough soft

  4. Turn the dough onto a kitchen bench and knead it for 1-2 minutes, flouring the bench a little if you need to

  5. 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

  1. Top and tail the leeks and remove any coarse outer layers

  2. Slice the leeks in half lengthways and then slice each half lengthways again

  3. Coarsely cut the leeks into 4cm segments

  4. Wash the leeks thoroughly to separate out the leek layers and remove any traces of dirt

  5. Allow the leeks to drain

  6. In a large pot, heat 350ml of EVOO on high until it is very hot

  7. Add the leeks and maintain the heat on high

  8. Stir in the cracked black pepper and the salt

  9. Continue to stir and cook the leeks until their colour brightens and much of the water they release has cooked off

  10. Stir through the rice and turn off the heat

  11. Allow the leeks to cool completely before crumbling in the feta and stirring through the beaten eggs

Preparing the flour-cornflour mixture...

  1. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Take the one ball of dough, and shape it with you hands to form a disc

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Unravel the fillo sheet and rotate it90 degrees on your work surface

  6. Wrap the fillo onto the rolling pin again

  7. 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

  8. Again, unravel the fillo sheet and rotate it 90 degrees on your work surface

  9. If the fillo becomes sticky, dust it with a little flour-cornflour mixture again

  10. You continue to do this until your fillo is about 60cm in diameter

  11. 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

  12. Roll out a second fillo sheet. The 2nd sheet is draped completely inside the pan and drizzled with EVOO

  13. The 3rd fillo sheet drapes outside the pan and is drizzled with EVOO

  14. The 4th fillo sheet is draped completely inside the pan

  15. Add 2/3 of the leek filling to the pan

  16. The 5th fillo sheet is draped completely inside the pan

  17. Add the remaining filling to the pan

  18. Fold in the draping parts of the 3rdfillo sheet and put a little filling on these folded areas

  19. The 6th and 7th fillo sheets are draped completely inside the pan and drizzled with EVOO

  20. The 8th fillo sheet is draped completely inside the pan

  21. Fold in the draping parts of the 1st fillo sheet

  22. Drizzle the top of the prasopita withEVOO and sprinkle some water on top too

Baking the prasopita...

  1. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Recipe makes 12-16 pieces

Recipe Video