Frugal Fridays: Spinach Pie

Spinach Pie

Spinach pie, also known as the Greek dish spanakopita, is versatile: you can serve it as an appetizer, an elegant brunch item or have it all for yourself for dinner. Traditionally made with spinach and feta cheese, the filling is wrapped in phyllo and then baked. The ingredients in spinach pie all freeze well and you can freeze the pie either before or after baking it. For best results however, freeze spinach pie before baking it.

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Total Recipe Cost: $6.63
Servings Per Recipe: 8 (1/8th of pie dish)
Cost Per Serving: $0.83

1 Tbsp olive oil – $0.16
1 small yellow onion – $0.57
1 clove garlic – $0.04
1 cup cottage cheese – $1.20
1/4 cup parmesan cheese – $0.42
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg – $0.02
1/2 tsp salt – $0.02
10-15 cranks fresh cracked pepper – $0.02
16 oz. frozen cut spinach – $1.63
1 sheet (8 oz.) puff pastry – $2.50
2 Tbsp flour for dusting – $0.05
1 large egg (for glaze, optional) – FREE (we have backyard laying hens)

Note: Allow both the puff pastry and frozen spinach to thaw in the refrigerator over night.

Prep Day: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Dice the onion into small pieces and mince the garlic. Cook both in a small skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until soft and transparent (about five minutes).

While the onions and garlic are cooking, prepare the rest of the filling. In a bowl combine the cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix well. Before adding the spinach, strain it in a colander and press out as much moisture as possible (squeezing handfuls in a fist works well too).

Dust a clean work surface with flour and unfold a sheet of puff pastry onto it. Using a rolling pin, roll the puff pastry into a 12 inch by 12 inch square. Drape the rolled dough over a standard 9 inch pie dish.

Spread the spinach filling evenly inside the pastry lined pie dish. Fold the corners of the pastry back over top of the filling. It’s okay if they do not fully reach to meet each other.

Freezing UNBAKED

Step 1 – Assemble the spinach pie in a tart pan or pie plate up the point as stated above.

Step 2 – Place the spinach pie in the freezer uncovered. Freeze for approximately two hours or until solid.

Step 3 – Lift the pie out of the tart pan or pie plate, then wrap in freezer-safe plastic wrap. Wrap again in heavy-duty foil and return to the freezer.

Serve Day: Remove the unbaked pie from the freezer, unwrap it and place in the tart pan or pie plate. Thaw in the refrigerator for at least four hours or overnight. Brush a whisked egg over the top (this will give the surface a glossy appearance after cooking). Bake the pie for 45 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven. Allow the pie to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting to allow the filling to set.

Freezing BAKED

If desired, brush a whisked egg over the top (this will give the surface a glossy appearance after cooking). Bake the pie for 45 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven. Allow the pie to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting to allow the filling to set.

Step 1 – Cool the pie completely after baking it. To cool the spinach pie quickly, place it inside a tray of ice water.

Step 2 – Remove the pie from the tart pan if you do not want to freeze the pan along with the pie. Wrap the pie pieces individually tightly in several layers of plastic wrap. Wrap again in heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Step 3 – Place the pie pieces in a freezer bag and freeze. It will keep in the freezer for about four weeks.

Serve Day – Thaw. Heat previously baked spinach pie in microwave or oven till heated through.

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