We are excited to share this recipe with you, because it is absolutely delicious and reminds us of the traditional way our yiayias used to make all the pies (forget the easy way out on this one...you will have to roll your own dough).
Serves 8 (4 if you are Greek)
Ingredients for phyllo dough preparation:
2.2lbs of flour
1 tbsp salt
1 cup of olive oil
2 cups of warm water
3 tsp vinegar
Ingredients for the pita filling:
1 cup whole milk
1.5lbs of grated Myzithra cheese
2 tbsp semolina
2 tbsp cornflour
Freshly grated pepper to your liking
To prepare the phyllo dough, place the ingredients in a mixer and blend until you obtain a soft manageable dough texture. We often recommend that towards the end you mix by hand to get a feel of the dough's consistency. Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes, covered with a towel or plastic wrap.
In a saucepan, boil the milk and add the semolina to it while mixing.
Remove from heat and let the mixture cool.
Add the remaining ingredients to it and mix well - you can use your hands just like yiayia or if this is too traditional for you, use a mixer to blend all the filling ingredients together. Once you get a uniform mixture you can add the crushed fresh pepper on top and mix again.
Now that your filling is ready, it's time to roll the dough.
Depending on the pan you are using you can "open phyllo" in square or round shapes. It all depends on the shape of the pan you decide to use. The goal is to cover the pan's surface with the freshly rolled dough. The thickness of the phyllo sheet should not exceed 1/6th of an inch.
After you lay the first layer of phyllo dough, brush it with some egg and olive oil and spread some of the Myzithra filling. Continue this process with four to eight phyllo layers. How much of the filling you use, it will depend on the layers you can create. The layers might vary based on the size of the pan you are using and on how thin you can get the single phyllo sheets to be; the thinner the phyllo the greater number of layers you will be able to create. Ideally, more and thinner layers will create a fun crispy dough that will have a flaky look and crunchy texture.
When you place the last layer of phyllo, brush with egg yolk blended in some warm water (just enough to help the york be spreadable) and bake in the oven at 375F (if you are using a convection oven use 350F) for 30-40 minutes. When your pie takes a beautiful golden color this is your hint that another delicious adventure awaits.