When I made those mini pies I got this image in my mind: a bus full of schoolmates climbing the hills of a mountain somewhere in northern Greece. Laughters, teasing among friends, fun moments and then in my bag, wrapped in aluminum foil those cheese ‘kourou’ pies. I think it’s the combination of feta and spear mint that hit me. Whatever it was, there was something moved inside me. The first bite brought a smile on my face and the memories started unfolding in my head. By the way ‘kourou’ is the type of this thick homemade phyllo based on Greek yogurt.
For the ‘kourou’ dough
- 300gr. greek yogurt
- 160gr. sunflower oil
- 320gr. flour
- 16gr. baking powder
- 1tbsp. butter (not melted)
- 1tsp. salt
For the filling
- 250gr. Feta cheese
- 10-15 fresh minced spear mint leaves or 1tsp. dried spear mint
- 2 eggs (or 1 egg if prefer a lighter version)
- some black pepper
An extra egg to ‘shower’ your pies before baking.
- Preheat your oven at 180 degrees C and put a baking paper in a big pan.
- Put all ingredients of the dough in a big bowl and add flour and baking powder in the end. Your dough needs to be soft but not sticky. If you feel like adding some more flour just do it !
- Put the dough in the fridge and start making the filling.
- In another bowl, break feta cheese into pieces using a fork (or your hands), add the eggs, spear mint, pepper and mix slightly.
- In a separate bowl break the ‘shower’ egg and stir it a little bit using a fork.
- Get the dough from the fridge and make small balls in the size of a walnut and you open then in small think phyllos using our hands.
- Put in the center of each phyllo a small teaspoon of the filling and then you fold the dough so as to have in the end the shape of half moon. Press with your hands the edges of the dough to seal it and place the tiropitakia in your pan.
- Bake for 30′ and..
Using the same dough you can create a lot of variations using different filling: toast cheese, spinach, green peppers and mushrooms… whatever you like! Just make sure your cut all raw vegetables in really small pieces.
You can give a ‘croissant’ shape to your pies with this technique: instead of small walnut balls of dough you open the whole dough into a thigh phyllo. Then you cut it with a knife as if you were slicing your pizza but in thinner pieces. Then you place 1tsp. of filling in the wide side of the ‘pizza’ shaped dough and you roll it smoothly to the ‘tip’ of the pizza triangle!