In Greek cuisine, pumpkin is used in soups, dips, salads, cakes, baked in the oven with lamb or chicken and in keftedes. Most regions have their own version of pumpkin filo pie. Some make sweet pumpkin pie with cinnamon and honey, while others make savoury pies with Greek cheese. The island of Samos is renowned for its pumpkin pie and this is my version.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, for brushing
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp honey
- 6 cups coarsely grated pumpkin (approximately 3 kg)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 300 g Greek feta, crumbled
- 2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 16 filo pastry sheets
- salt and cracked pepper, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 30 minutes
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
Preheat oven to 180°C.
In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. When golden brown, season with salt and pepper and add the honey. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Place the pumpkin in large bowl and add the sea salt. Gently mix this through and let it stand for at least 15 minutes. The salt will draw out the liquid.
Take handfuls of pumpkin and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. Place the squeezed pumpkin in another large bowl.
Add the onion, feta, nutmeg and beaten eggs and season with salt and pepper. Mix this well until all the ingredients are well combined.
Brush a large round pizza-size baking tray with olive oil. Brush two sheets of filo pastry with olive oil. Place on the bottom of the tray. Repeat this process so that there are 10 pieces of filo on the bottom and the whole round tray is covered with filo pastry. Add the pumpkin mixture and spread this around the baking dish.
Take two pieces of filo and brush the top piece with olive oil. Place this on top to cover the pumpkin mixture. Top with a further two sheets of filo, brushed with olive oil. Fold the overhanging filo sheets inward and brush these with olive oil. Brush the last two sheets of filo and place these on top and tuck the filo sheets underneath.
Brush all the filo on top with a little more olive oil. Sprinkle half a handful of water on top of the filo sheets.
Place the pie in the oven and bake for 1 hour until the top of the filo is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes before serving.
© 2013 Maria Benardis