GRISELDA’S TWICE-BAKED SPINACH PIE (AN ALBANIAN CLASSIC)
Bujtina Sidheri Hotel, Korçë, Albania
Please note: Griselda’s dough recipe makes several times as much dough as you’ll need for a single pie. She recommends making the larger quantity, saving the leftover dough in plastic wrap in the refrigerator, and using it to make other kinds of pie. You can cut the recipe in half (probably thirds) to make a single pie. The filling recipe makes just enough for a single pie.
300 grams of flour
50 grams olive oil
1/4 liter of water
Salt to taste
1 bunch of spinach, washed and chopped
50 grams white cheese
A handful of gorgonzola, crumbled
1/4 liter of milk
Salt to taste
250 grams of butter, divided
Extra olive oil for greasing pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celsius (662 degrees Fahrenheit).
Combine ingredients for dough, mix, remove from bowl, and knead on a flat surface dusted with flour. Add more water or flour to dough as needed. Form a long roll and break off two chunks, each about the size of a softball. Form unused dough into balls, wrap in plastic, and place in refrigerator to be used for other pies.
Using a very long, very thin rolling pin, roll out one ball of dough into a large circle. Add flour at the start and/or as needed while rolling. Roll up on the rolling pin and drape into bottom of greased pan.
Combine filling ingredients and spread on bottom of pan. Dot generously with butter.
Roll out second ball of dough, drape over the top of the pie. Fold over the edges, twisting slightly to get a braided effect.
Put in oven for 5 minutes.
Remove and place pan on a burner, turning frequently. Pie will swell and steam. Keep checking to see how brown the bottom is. When it’s almost perfect, smear butter on top of pie.
Return to oven for one minute.
Remove pie from oven, cut with scissors, and serve.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
See my post Albania: Your Next Vacation Destination?
I’m constantly collecting recipes as part of Our Mediterranean Comfort Food Tour. I take extensive notes, film every bit of the process I can, and review the details with the chef. I strive for accuracy, but as you can see from the videos, measurements are usually by eye, and the ingredients may be subtly different than what we find at home. Since I’m on the road, I have not had the opportunity to test any of these recipes in my own kitchen. If you do try a recipe and have comments or suggestions for refining it, please let me know.