DINNER | Spanakopita Tart

I know “Well this is a new one!” I was feeling like i needed spinach and feta but couldn’t be bothered with filo so… ta dah! Spanakopita Tart.

Because I’m used to living alone and therefore cooking for uno quite a lot of the time, i always have frozen spinach (i never get through a big bag of spinach by myself and when i use it to cook it i end up with barely any).

Spanakopita is traditionally made with homemade filo pastry, though shop bought can absolutely be used as well – but i couldn’t be bothered to a) leave the house and b) make filo pastry. SO…

Serves 4-8

Ingredients

Pastry:
  • 250g (2 cups) plain flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 140g (1/3 + ¼ cups) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 40g (1.4oz) finely grated parmesan or grana padano cheese
  • 1 egg, separated
  • about 2tbsp ice water

Filling:

  • 450g (16oz) frozen spinach
  • 250g (9oz) ricotta cheese
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 100ml (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp) double (heavy) cream
  • 4 spring onions (scallions)
  • small bunch finely chopped parsley (about ½ a 25g packet)
  • small bunch finely chopped dill (about ½ a 25g packet)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 200g (7oz) feta cheese

Method

  1. Put the flour, salt and butter in a bowl, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, stir in the cheese, followed by the egg yolk (save the white to use later). Add enough ice water to bring the mixture together into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a pound coin and transfer it to a 25cm round tart tin. Press the pastry into the corners and leave the excess overhanging. Prick the base all over with a fork then place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.
  3. Line the pastry case with baking parchment, making sure there is some overhanging. Fill with baking beans, making sure that the sides are propped up then bake for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment and brush the pastry all over with the reserved egg white. Return to the oven for a further 10 mins, until golden. Remove from the oven and use a very sharp serrated knife to trim off the excess pastry; set aside.
  4. To make the filling, defrost the spinach (running room temp water over it), place it in a sieve and press on it firmly to extract as much excess liquid as possible; finely chop it then tip into a large bowl. Mix in the ricotta, eggs and cream.
  5. Finely chop the spring onions and add to the bowl along with the parsley, dill and garlic. Season well with salt and pepper and crumble in two thirds of the feta. Pour the mixture into the prepared pastry case and spread it level. Crumble over the remaining feta.
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until set in the middle. TIP: Cover loosely with foil partway through baking if the top starts to colour too much.
  7. Allow to cool for about half an hour before serving.
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