Whenever I am in Cyprus, one of my favourite breakfast treats is a powerfully strong Greek coffee alongside deliciously flaky Tiropita, Greek Cheese Pies.
I’m far away from the sunny shores of Cyprus right now but one bite of this famous pastry always takes me straight back to the island. These tasty pies are super easy to make at home, so read on for all the details.
What is Tiropita?
Tiropita or Greek Cheese Pie is a super popular morning meal, enjoyed right through Greece and the Mediterranean and it’s easy to see why. It’s made from shatteringly crisp, golden filo pastry with a creamy feta filling. If you’ve ever tried Spanakopita you’re on the right track.
Tiropita is a dish with such simple ingredients, but the flavours combine wonderfully and it’s easy to make at home. Take it to the next level by sprinkling with sesame seeds and a drizzle of runny honey.
To make Tiropita you’ll need the following main ingredients:
- Feta Cheese: Look for a good quality feta cheese made from sheep milk, goat milk or a combination with cow milk. Feta-style cheese made from only cow milk tends to lack in flavour.
- Cottage cheese: Any full-fat cottage cheese or ricotta cheese is suitable here, be sure to drain any watery whey off the cheese before using.
- Filo pastry: These days filo or phyllo pastry sheets are easily available in larger grocery stores. Check the refrigerator or freezer sections. If you fancy making your own pastry, either my Strudel dough or Börek dough is suitable.
- Butter and olive oil: I use both butter and olive oil in m Tiropita recipe, the olive oil for flavour and the butter to make sure the pastry is extra golden and crisp.
For the full ingredient list and detailed recipe, instructions see the recipe card at the end of the post.
How to make Tiropita
Making Tiropita has 4 main stages:
- First, heat the oven and stir together the ingredients for the filling and set aside.
- Next, lay out one of the filo sheets, and brush it with a mixture of butter and olive oil. Layer another on top and repeat.
- Next form a long sausage shape of cheese filling along the longer side of the pastry and roll it up into a tube. Roll into a spiral, and tuck the end underneath. Repeat 3 more times.
- Last, drizzle over the remaining olive oil and butter, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake to golden brown perfection.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I make Tiropita in advance?
Greek Cheese Pies are best eaten fresh, though they can be reheated for a day or two. The pastry is best and flakiest directly from the open.
What to serve with Greek Cheese Pies?
Serve Tiropita with a strong espresso or Greek or Turkish-style coffee. It’s popular to serve them drizzled with runny honey for a sweet and savoury flavour combo.
Can I freeze Tiropita?
Tiropita can be frozen, unbaked. Bake directly from frozen, allowing at least 10 minutes extra baking time.
- 250g (½ lb.) good quality feta cheese
- 250g (½ lb.) cottage cheese
- 1 large egg
- small bunch of parsley, dill or mint
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- freshly ground black pepper
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 8 sheets filo pastry
- 50g (½ stick) unsalted butter
- 50ml (3 Tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tsp sesame seeds
- honey for drizzling
- PREPARE: Heat oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6. Line an oven tray with baking parchment paper. Melt butter and olive oil together in a small saucepan.
- MAKE FILLING: Stir together all cheese filling ingredients until well combined. The mixture won’t be perfectly smooth so leave it a little lumpy.
- BUTTER FILO: Lay 1 piece of filo on the worktop, brush all over with butter and olive oil mixture, place another piece on top and repeat.
- ROLL PASTRY: Along one long side make a long row of cheese filling. Roll up to form a long tube, then roll into a spiral. Place on the prepared baking tray, pat with wet hands, and sprinkle over sesame seeds. Repeat 3 more times with the remaining pastry.
- BAKE: Drizzle over the remaining butter and olive oil mixture, then bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and flaky. Allow to cool slightly before serving warm or at room temperature.
- OPTIONAL: For an extra treat, drizzle over a little honey before serving.
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