This spinach pie is a family recipe passed down for generations. It stems from a traditional Greek (or in our case Albanian) recipe. It calls for homemade crust, and is truly wonderful when the time is taken to make it from scratch! But if you’d like you can substitute homemade crust for store bought Phyllo dough.
My grandmother would make this spinach pie every New Year’s day. She would wrap a quarter or silver dollar in wax paper, and place it near the crust. Whoever received the lucky dollar would be blessed with good luck for the year! Before you start baking, mark the quarter with a toothpick so you know where it is and it stays in the slice. Cut the pie, take the toothpick out, and randomly provide everyone with a slice. Everyone uses a fork to poke through their slice to find the lucky dollar. Don’t start eating until you find the lucky dollar, or it could become an unlucky choking hazard!
Prep Time: approx. 1 hr.
Cook Time: approx. 40 Minutes.
Ready in: less than 2 hours
- Pie Crust
- 5 cups of flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- ½ lb melted butter
If you’d like to skip making your own dough, purchase Phyllo (not country style) dough for this crust. It’s more and more common in grocery stores these days. It can be very thin, so use up to 10 layers on for your crust.
For homemade dough mix flour, salt, water for dough with your hands until soft. Knead for 5 minutes. Then place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough in half, roll it out until thin and spread with melted butter well. Fold the sides to the center and butter again. Now fold one half over the other and butter and fold in the opposite direction until you have a 5 inch folded square formed. Butter the top and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 12-15 minutes (or overnight if you’d like) and do the same with the other half.
Now it’s time to make your filling! Just add all your filling ingredients into a bowl and mix well to make your filling.
Remove your dough from the fridge and roll out to the size of your square or round buttered pan. A 12–15-inch pan is perfect. Place the dough on the bottom of the pan with a ½ overlap around the edges. Add your filling and cover with more dough. Wrap the edges of the dough into a crust and bake uncovered at 350˚ for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a bit crispy.
I will never forget my wonderful Nana Tefta, and all the ways she showed her love. Cooking this family recipe and giving us the joy of finding a lucky quarter was just one of the many ways she did that.
Let’s Grow Together!