Pies are a big thing in Greece. People don't really enjoy having a big breakfast over here. Breakfast is usually coffee and a pie. There are snack places that they sell pies every few meters all over the country. Cheese pie is the most popular pie and is made with thin phyllo or puff pastry phyllo. It can be square, triangle, rolled, big or small. The filling can be more or less any cheese but the most popular cheeses to use in a pie are feta cheese and kasseri (Greek yellow cheese). To recreate this old favorite snack of mine, I made a vegan yellow cream cheese filling - made with nutritional yeast and chickpea flour. For the phyllo you can either use phyllo dough sheets or puff pastry sheets or you can make your own with my recipe below. Enjoy these for breakfast or for a quick snack during the day. I also like making them before traveling so I can have them as a road snack.
Tiropitakia: Greek Cheese Hand Pies [Vegan]
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup cold vegan butter
- 1/2 cup soy cream
- 3 Tbsp cold soy milk
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 nutritional yeast
- 4 Tbsp chickpea flour
- juice from one medium lemon (about 3-4 Tbsp)
- 3 Tbsp tahini
- 2 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 Tbsp corn flour
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a large mixing bowl sift the flour, the salt and baking powder.
- Cut the margarine is small pieces and add it in the flour mixture.
- Use your fingers to cut it into the flour.
- Add the soy cream and mix. Add the milk and knead with your hands until a stiff dough forms.
- Roll the dough into a ball, wrap it in a plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before ready to use.
- Roll out the dough to a thick phyllo and use a big cookie cutter or single phyllo cutter to make the phyllos round and ready to fill.
- Add all ingredients in a sauce pan and mix.
- Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium.
- Keep mixing until a thick cheesy sauce performs.
- Remove from the heat and add 2 Tbsp of the cheesy sauce in the center of the phyllo pastries.
- Roll the phyllo so you can cover the cheesy sauce on top and press with your fingers to seal the edges so the filling won't come out when baking.
- Place the hand pies in a big baking pan and bake in preheated oven at 180c/350f for about 18-20 minutes until golden.