Merry Christmas! My family recipe for Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

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Recipe for Spanakopita:
 

  • 1/2 package of Phyllo, thaw overnight or 24 hours in refrigerate (you can NOT rush the thaw), you need approx. 20-24 sheets (can also use puff pastry sheets, less layering)
  • 1/2 LB. unsalted butter (melted)  (mix in a little olive oil optional), if you are heavy on butter, it could be more (i usually use spay olive oil….much easier)

Filling mixture:

  • 2 packages of frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed VERY dry)
  • 16 oz cottage cheese (any type)
  • 8 oz feta cheese (at least 8 oz, could be as much as 12 oz)
  • 2 Tablespoons of parmasan  romano cheese
  • 1/2 teas. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tea. cumin (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons fresh dill (optional)
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 bunch scallions (chopped and sauteed in a little olive oil) (optional)
  • Dash of salt and pepper

 
Assembly;  Spread a dish towel on work surface, put a sheet of waxed paper on it, then unroll the phyllo on it and cover with another sheet of waxed paper, you now have to work fast, (if the phyllo is sufficiently thawed, the sheets should separate easily, if they stick, wait a couple of minutes):
1.  With a pastry brush, brush a little  melted butter on bottom and SIDES in the baking pan I loaned you!
2.  sheets one and two,  spread these CROSSWISE in the pan so the sheets go up the sides and bottom of the pan, with pastry brush, brush butter lightly on sides and bottom
3.  sheets three and four, spread CROSSWISE in pan and lightly brush butter on sides and bottom
4. sheets five through ten, lay LENGTHWISE  in pan and lightly brush butter between layers (these should fit nicely in the pan I loaned you)
5. Do not butter layer ten, spread 1/2 half of the mixture over sheet 10
6. layer sheet eleven over mixture and brush lightly with melted butter
7. layer sheet twelve
8. spread remaining mixture over sheet twelve (Yiayia’s trick:  it keeps the pita more secure when you cut it into squares)
9. spread remaining layers of phyllo, brushing melted butter between layers. (tuck in any phyllo around the edges of the pan)
10. TOP LAYER:
a. Score top of pita with knife, top layers only, DO NOT SCORE down to bottom of pan (i usually score six lengthwise strips, then about 8/10 across pan)
b.  brush a little melted butter in score lines.
 
BAKE: 350 degrees approximately one hour, until golden brown.  check after 30 minutes, then 45 minutes (not an exact science)
 
TO SERVE:  After pita has cooled a little,  with knife, cut scored pieces down to bottom of pan to separate squares. 
Love, Mom

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