This isn’t difficult, but you do need to give yourself a bit of time to put it together. It’s absolutely worth it. The soft, sweet potato and feta, with the crunch of the filo pastry, is wonderful.
Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes
Four to six
750g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
70g frozen spinach
3 tbsp pine nuts
200g feta cheese, cut into 2cm cubes
12 sheets of filo pastry
Carrot and cucumber, sliced into ribbons, to serve (optional)
Place the sweet potato in a saucepan with a lid and cover in boiling water. Place on a medium heat and bring the water back to the boil, then place the lid on the pan, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, until the potato is tender. For the last minute, remove the lid, add the frozen spinach and stir until defrosted.
Drain the potato and spinach, return them to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Mash until the potato is roughly smooth with the spinach evenly distributed throughout.
Place the pine nuts in a dry non-stick frying pan roughly 25cm in diameter. Fry the nuts on a medium-low heat for about one minute, moving them around the pan until toasted. Stir the pine nuts into the potato mixture and set aside to cool a little, then stir in the feta cheese.
In the same frying pan, melt the butter on a low heat. Carefully pour the melted butter into a cup, leaving a thin layer of butter residue on the bottom of the pan.
Lay out a sheet of filo pastry on the worktop with one of the longest edges closest to you. Brush both sides, using the melted butter from the cup.
Butter a second sheet of pastry and lay it next to the first so they overlap by about a third. Butter another sheet of pastry and lay it in the centre above the first two sheets, so that it overlaps them by half. Repeat this process by laying three new buttered sheets of pastry over the first three. Repeat the process one last time so that you have a triple layer of the sheets of pastry.
Carefully lift the layered pastry sheets and lay them in the buttered pan to cover the base. Allow the excess pastry to overhang the edge of the pan.
Tip the potato mixture into the pan and use a fork to spread it out, pressing it all the way into the edges. Fold the overhang of pastry over the top of the filling. Brush another three sheets of pastry with butter and layer these over the gaps on the top of the pie.
Place the pan on a medium heat and fry for three to five minutes, until the underside is golden (although don’t worry if it’s a bit pale at this stage), then cover the pan with a plate and carefully invert the pie onto it. The cooked side will now be on top.
Brush the pan with a little more butter. Carefully slide or lift the pie back into the pan, uncooked-side downwards, and fry for a further three to five minutes, until golden. If the top is still a little pale, repeat the process until both sides are crisp and golden.
Slide the pie onto a chopping board, cut into slices and serve immediately. Serve with carrot and cucumber ribbons, if you wish.