My mother’s Spanakopita is like no other. It’s more than just the mouthwatering taste and soft, yet crunchy texture. It is a traditional ‘village style’ recipe that lights up our house with fresh scent and excitement. In the lead up to family events, mum always works tirelessly preparing food days in advanced, and fair to say, that everything is absolutely amazing; however, this one is a little extra special. Why? Every step of this recipe is made with patience and love.
Although every part of the Spanakopita tastes phenomenal, it is the art of the pastry that has enabled mum’s Spanakopita to be “the best” as stated by everyone that try’s it. Whether is be family events or a mid-week meal, this Spanakopita won’t last long. We have an inside joke with our family that agrees to the notion of “first in, first served” and it doesn’t last very long.
Watching mum pour so much love and effort into her cooking has inspired me to learn how to replicate this recipe to ensure the continuation of this Spanakopita for years to come. The constant requests at family events for ‘Maryannthi’s Spanakopita’ overfills mum with so much love and joy, which is why I wanted to share my mother’s recipe with the Greek community of Victoria. Whether you like your Spanakopita cold or hot, the excitement for this traditional cultural dish is one that I assure you will be faced by many. Enjoy!
*Approximately 7 Spanakopitas*
7 cups Special White Flour
1.5 – 2 English spinach bunches
1.5 kg Fresh ricotta
1 bunch spring onion
Light olive oil
1. Wash spring onion, cut into small pieces and sauté for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Thoroughly wash English spinach, ensuring all dirt is removed. Cut the end off. Finley chop the spinach and press together to ensure all water is removed. Set aside.
3. Dough – Combine 7 cups of Special White Flour, 2 TBSP salt, 2 cups of tap water and 1/4 light olive oil. Combine mixture. Add approximately 1/2 cup water and kneed thoroughly. Allow dough to be slightly sticky. Roll into small balls and set aside for 5 minutes.
4. Mixture – Combine chopped English Spinach, 700g Feta, 1.5kg fresh ricotta cheese, 2 TBSP salt, 2 TBSP pepper, 3 TBSP light olive oil, 3 eggs, sautéed spring onion. Mix until all combined.
5. Pastry – After dough has sat, roll out the balls with rolling pin in small oval shape, brush will olive oil. Roll another ball out then add that on top of previously rolled oiled ball. This should make 7 oval shapes. Set aside for 25 minutes.
6. Spanakopita – Roll out the oval pastry further. Stretch all the edges and ensure the pastry has been stretched thinly. Lay on a giant table cloth and stretch further (holes in the stretched pastry is ok). Sprinkle light olive oil across all the pastry. Add bits of filling on the pastry. Ensure filling is spread out in small bits. Using the giant table cloth, roll the spanakopita until a long tube. Oil an oven pan and place the Spanakopita until it creates a continued circle shape. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes (until golden brown) at 180 degrees.