This is one of my favorite pastries to make because they’re simple and they freeze well. I usually make a batch of about 20 then wrap them in waxed paper in groups of 4. I put the small groups in freezer bags and store in the freezer.
Days later (if I can wait that long!), I transfer a few to the fridge to thaw before I go to bed. In the morning it only takes 10 minutes to have a fresh baked cheese pastry – what a great way to start the day!
I was introduced to tyropitas a few
pounds ago years ago, but I couldn’t remember the exact mix. I found this video online. I wonder how long Eva has been making these? I’m sure hers are wonderful, but I changed my recipe a bit.
This is how I make them:
- 16 oz WHOLE milk ricotta cheese
- 6 oz Feta (I use Athenos feta with tomato basil, but you can use plain or another flavor)
- 1 box of puff pastry (NOT the Pepperidge Farm Pastry sheets! Those are wrong).
- 2 eggs
- Salted butter (as much as it takes)
Before you start, have a damp tea-cloth or kitchen towel handy. The sheets can dry out very quickly. Between processes, you’ll need to cover your dough with waxed paper (or the sheet they came wrapped in) and lay a towel on top.
Your pastry sheets should be refrigerated, but not frozen. Unroll them. Don’t worry if they have some creases or wrinkles, or if they tear slightly. The straighter and fresher, the better, but don’t let perfect be the enemy of good, so they say.
Cut through all your layers all at once using a sharp pizza cutter or knife. I cut mine into three 4″ strips. Then stack all the strips. Lay aside, covered by the waxed paper and damp towel.
Melt a stick of butter in the microwave, but careful not to burn it. It should be melted just enough to spread with a brush.
In a bowl, gently fold together your ricotta, feta (broken into small bits) and 2 whole eggs until well blended. Set aside.
Important: Make sure your counter is DRY. Place a single strip of pastry dough on the counter. Brush with butter. It helps if you hold the bottom of the sheet gently and brush up. This flakey pastry is very delicate so be gentle. Gentle, not timid! It’s going to tear a little and that’s okay. The butter will hold all the layers together.
Now place another layer on top of this one and brush it with butter.
Top with a third layer, but don’t butter this last layer.
Now, is your stack of unused pastry covered? Good! Moving on…
Now begin to fold. Start with the top right edge and make a point (just like Eva did!).
Continue to fold at angles all the way down to the bottom. This seals all edges. If you get confused about the folds, go back to Eva’s video.
When you have reached the end, brush the entire pastry lightly with butter, sealing any overhanging edges.
Continue until all of your pastry sheets are gone. You’ll have about 18 to 20 tyropitas. The raw sheets don’t “keep” so use them all while you can. Lay them one by one on a sheet of waxed paper. If you’re going to bake them now, place them directly onto a buttered cookie sheet.
After you’ve preheated the oven, bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden. When you touch the top, it should crumble. Let them cool on a rack, but serve warm.
If you didn’t use a flavored feta (like my tomato/basil), you may want to serve with a side of honey, jam or fruit preserves. Enjoy!