Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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Greek “Pumpkin” Pie

October 5th, 2008 · No Comments

Since you’ve read all about filo making, and it’s October, maybe you’d like to try this version of a pumpkin pie, made with filo dough (phyllo is a common U.S. spelling). It’s from the Greek food/about.com web site — the about.com group has a number of authoritative cooks writing for their recipe sites and I definitely recommend them.

 This can also be made with other orange squash. This is a variation of a recipe from Ileia, a province on the west coast of the Peloponnese peninsula of Greece.

Greek pumpkin pie

(Note: If using fresh sugar pumpkin or orange squash — recommended — begin the day before.)

  • 16-18 large sheets of phyllo dough
  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds of fresh pumpkin or squash, grated
  • 2 cups of walnuts, crushed
  • 1 1/3 cups of olive oil
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of dried breadcrumbs, crushed
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • extra oil for brushing the phyllo dough
  • Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of water

The day before: If using fresh pumpkin, grate coarsely and boil for 20 minutes. Let drain overnight and press to remove excess liquid before using.

Sauté the pumpkin in the olive oil for 5-10 minutes, stirring so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Remove from the heat, and transfer to a metal or pyrex bowl. Stir in the honey, breadcrumbs, crushed walnuts, and cinnamon, Stir well with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended and smooth.

Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).

Lightly oil a 15 X 13 baking pan and line with 8-9 sheets of phyllo, brushing each with oil. Spoon in the pumpkin mixture and spread evenly. Fold the phyllo that extends out of the sides in over the mixture. Lay the remaining phyllo sheets on top, brushing each with oil, and trim off the edges that extend outside the pan with a scissors. Score the top phyllo sheets with a sharp knife into squares or large diamonds. Wet your hands with water and shake them over the top to sprinkle with water.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, set the pan on a rack and cool until the bottom of the pan is cool to the touch (about 2-3 hours).

When the pita has cooled, boil the honey, sugar, and water for 5 minutes and pour the hot syrup over the cooled pie.

Allow the pita to absorb the syrup until it cools to room temperature.

Serves 8 to 12.

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