Dina’s Tiropitakia (Feta Cheese filled hand pies)
Perfect little pockets of feta that are hard to resist especially fresh out of the oven. They really are tempting especially out of the oven. I always burn my tongue because I’m not patient enough to wait for them to cool! As you can see from the ingredients below, these are pretty basic and simple but maybe that’s why they are so good. Peanut butter cookies are pretty basic too but you literally can’t stop eating them. Same principle applies here I think.
Growing up my mom always had these on hand! Like always – tons in the freezer and fridge and fresh ones always baking. They were perfect for all our family road trips and outings. Great snacks and the most perfect on the go breakfast. My mom would never let us leave without eating something and that something was usually this in hand if we were running late for school and even later on in our working days. We were totally spoiled by her food wise and otherwise and I’m not complaining – just wish I could have her around 24⁄7 but I think my dad would miss her too much.
As easy and basic as the ingredients are – there is room for some variation. Feel free to spice up your feta mixture up with a some herbs or some chili flakes and even add in a little spinach. This dough recipe is great for all sorts of savoury fillings too if you wanted to swap the feta for something completely different. I usually keep it the same and I love to eat them with a little drizzle of honey. Mixing a bit of sweet and savory always works for me.
Hope you enjoy a little taste of the Rappos home specifically from the hands of Dina! She was and is pretty famous for her little pies – not too sure if it’s because they were fab tasting or cause she always has some on hand. I’m going with both! She bakes with love in her heart for the ones she loves and even strangers and you can always taste it!
Makes approx 30 small tiropitakia (cheese hand pies)
Dough * 100ml butter melted * 100ml olive oil * 4 eggs * 1 extra egg whisked for an egg wash * 200 grams or 1 cup Greek yoghurt * 4 tsp baking powder * Approx 4-6 cups of flour (adding 1 cup at a time and mixing it in by hand) or as much as it takes to come together into a smooth and elastic dough * 1 pinch of salt * ¼ cup sesame seeds to sprinkle over the pies (optional)
* 4 eggs
* 3 cups of crumbled feta
* 1 tbsp of olive oil
* 1 tbsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 ° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper
In a medium size bowl whisk together your filing ingredients and set aside
In a large bowl whisk together the butter, oil, eggs and yoghurt
Measure out one cup of flour and stir into it the baking powder and add it and the the rest of the flour in while mixing the batter with your hand. Add the flour one cup at a time until the texture of the dough is smooth soft and elastic. You don’t want a tough or a hard dough. It’s usually between 4-5 cups but sometimes I have used up to six depending on the eggs and moisture in the yoghurt as well.
Pinch off about a walnut size or slightly larger than a walnut size of the dough (that is exactly how my mom described it) and then on a flat clean surface pat it down and spread it with your hands into a small circular disc then fill half of it with approx 1 tsp of cheese filling, fold over the other half of the disc to have it join and close off the pie and then crimp the edges closed with your fingers or a fork. Place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet and repeat until all the dough and filing is done. Brush each pie with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds
Bake in a preheated oven for approx 30-45 minutes or until golden brown (times vary depending on the size of the pies)