I have not always been an adventurous eater.  At all.  And honestly I still struggle.  My first instinct is, mostly “ergh oh god no” because what if I don’t like it and then I have something gross in my mouth and have to spit it out and people are watching?!  WHAT IF!! And I know that our tastes can change, partially because I love to read about food and used to work in psychology.  But also because I have changed my tastes in my adulthood.

So when I was looking around for recipes that use feta, well, this *blew* my tiny mind. It’s in Nigella’s most recent but 1, I think – with the perfect pink cover.

Feta.

For pudding.

With honey.

So if your feta is a bit old but not *too* old, it’s perfect. It’s great for lunchboxes and picnics, too.

I cooked it.  I put it on the plate.  In the kitchen, alone, with the other 2 feta recipes on the table.  I side-eyed the door.  I sniffed it.

Crunchy pastry.  A slight saltiness and lovely sweetness from the honey.  I finished this dish, and I think you’ll finish yours (and that half packet of feta), too.

Rag Pie

Ann Storr
Barely adapted from Nigella Lawson, 'Feast'
Course Dessert
Cuisine greek
Servings 3

Equipment

  • small square tin/baking tray
  • grater
  • bread knife
  • Pastry brush

Ingredients
  

  • 25 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 75 grams frozen filo pastry thawed
  • 65 grams feta cheese around: more or less is fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated parmesan/any Italian style hard cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon leaves fresh thyme or 1 pinch dried
  • 1 medium egg
  • 35 millilitres full fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey such as Greek thyme honey or orange blossom honey if possible, plus more to serve

Instructions
 

  • METHOD
  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then take it off the heat. Crumble the feta, grate the hard cheese
  • Line the tin with a layer of filo, making sure it comes up the sides, then pour 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the pastry.
  • Using one third of the remaining filo sheets, tear and scrunch the sheets up and drop them into the pan, and top with half of the crumbled feta, a teaspoon of hard cheese, a pinch of thyme and pour over a third of the remaining melted butter.
  • Repeat, so that you use up all but a little of the butter and a small amount of thyme. For the last layer, use larger pieces of filo “rags” (as it’s the lid), filling the pan a little more tightly, but still scrunching them.
  • Fold the edges of overhanging filo over themselves, and pour the remaining butter on top. Using the sharp point of your knife, make 2-3 cuts width ways/cross section across the pie from edge to edge. It’s important that you don’t use a blunt knife, as you don’t want to drag the filo or press down on it.
  • Beat the egg with the milk, then pour over the contents of the tin. Sprinkle the last bit of thyme along with the sesame seeds on top. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes in a cool place before baking. If 2 hours is easier for your timetable, then put it in the fridge. And you can do this in advance.
  • Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/gas mark 6/400°F, and bake the pie for 30 minutes. When it’s ready, the pastry will be golden and puffed up, and the inside set.
  • Let it stand for 10 minutes, then spoon 1 tablespoon of the runny honey over the top.
  • Cut into slices or slabs – using a serrated bread knife and sawing action to prevent squishing the filo on top too much, then pushing the knife down to cut through. Serve the pie directly from the tin and put the jar of runny honey, with a spoon in it (or you can pour it into a jug) on the table for people to add extra as they eat.
Keyword feata cheese, feta, filo pastry, flio, honey, parmesan, sesame, thyme

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