Friday, March 30, 2012

Dale's Spinach and Feta Fried Pies!


My friend Dale is a wonder. Though we've only hung out on two separate weekend adventures (the first being this West Virginia birthday party), I knew we'd hit it off before we ever met, as I had heard a lot about her and her various creative talents from my friend Lora. Dale's an artist and baker, cook and maker who anthologizes it all in inspiring ways on her blog here.  She's also hilarious and super fun (I could talk about our leopard print onesie girl gang dance party, but I'll leave that for another time).

Back in January, I went down to Knoxville, Tennessee where Dale lives were her beau Shawn. On Saturday morning, Dale treated us to some of her incredible, and I mean INCREDIBLE fried pies--this breakfast version included bacon, cheddar, apples, and walnuts. Wow. Good thing I started eating meat again. 

When I got back home, I asked Dale if she would be interested in doing a post for the pie blog. She happily obliged....

I've been making a lot of fried pies recently.  I won't tell you officially why, but I'll give you a hint. It's been fun coming up with sweet and savory variations on the traditional fried pie.  A few I've made recently: sweet potato marshmallow, mushroom rosemary, caramelized banana, cheesy walnut apple bacon, brie & dried cherry and most recently, spinach and feta.  I've been keeping my pie making close to the vest, at least on this blog, but when my friend Emily asked me to do a post for this blog, I knew it was time to come out of the pie-frying closet. 

I've always loved spanakopita, the Greek pastry made with spinach, feta, egg and phyllo dough, and thought a similar filling would be lovely in a buttery pie crust.  SURPRISE!  I was right.  Below is the recipe for these tasty pastries.

Spinach and Feta Fried Pies

For Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 3 Tbs. very cold water
To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.

To make the dough in a stand mixer, fit the mixer with the flat beater, and stir together the flour, sugar and salt in the mixer bowl. Add the butter and toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix on low speed just until the dough pulls together.

Transfer the dough to a work surface, pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Lightly flour the work surface, then in sections, roll out until it's 1/8 inch thick or less and use a 3 or 4 inch circle biscuit cutter to create dough circles.

For Spinach Feta Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • about 4 cups fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft and lightly browned. Stir in spinach and continue to saute until spinach is limp, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, mix together eggs and feta. Stir in spinach mixture. 

To Assemble and Fry Pies:
Spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling into center of dough circles. Fold and crimp closed with a fork.  
Heat a deep fryer or a deep pot halfway filled with oil to 350 degrees F. Carefully add the pies to the oil, 1 at a time, and fry until golden brown, turning the pies as necessary for even browning, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Big thanks to Dale for sharing her recipe for spinach and feta fried pies with us--I will definitely be whipping these up sometime very soon. For more of Dale's recipes, check out the Domesticity page on her blog, and keep up with all of her creative projects here.


erika kwee said...

Beautiful photos! Love your blog :)

emily said...

Thank you so much!

Jamie ODell said...

How much sugar I do not see measurement or it.

Steve Puu said...

How creative!. It is so delicious. Thank for sharing. I love fried food. I'm going to try it now

Arabella J. Rivera said...

I think these pies look like pillow, so pretty! That sure my little girl like them so much. I will try it on this weekend. Thanks you.

Linda said...

I am very lucky to find out this awesome blog . I must try this recipe according to this article .Thanks for sharing this .

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