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Phyllo Savoury Pie With Flaked Topping

Phyllo pastry is readily available and has the advantage that it adds contrasting crispness to fillings, yet is much lower in kilojoules than other pastries. Turkey or luxury fish turn this into festive fare.  A superb light meal or second meat course. Two filling options, both equally tasty and suitable, are included. Serve with crisp salad or colourful steamed vegetables.

Notes
During the festive season this pie can fill many gaps on the menu. The fillings given below may be adjusted by using leftover turkey or ham instead of the chicken and luxury fish such as pink salmon or even crayfish to replace the white fish.

Phyllo Pastry
8 sheets phyllo pastry
¼ cup (60 ml) melted butter

Filling Options (see below)

  1. Place 2 sheets of pastry on a chopping board, allow to stand about 10 minutes to become dry and brittle. When dry, crumble the pastry into fine flakes, sprinkle with 15 ml of the melted butter and toss with fingertips to coat evenly.
  2. Prepare the selected filling as explained below and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush 22 cm pie dish with melted butter.
  4. Brush and layer the remaining six sheets of pastry in a star pattern, with points protruding over the straight edges.
  5. Place into the dish and press into the corners.
  6. Spoon the filling into the pastry lined dish and fold each layer of the phyllo pastry, bit by bit towards the centre to cover the filling. Press down gently.
  7. Sprinkle the flaked phyllo evenly over the top and bake about 30 minutes or until the flakes are golden, filling set and the pie appears slightly risen in the centre.

Seafood Filling
250 g boneless, skinless white fish, diced
30 ml butter
15 ml lemon juice
60 ml cake flour
250 ml milk
125 ml grated tasty cheese (Edam or Cheddar)
15 ml chopped spring onion
pinch dried dill or mixed herbs
250 g additional seafood, very coarsely chopped, such as cooked cleaned prawns, drained canned mussels or blanched frozen marinara mix

  1. Place the white fish, butter and lemon juice in a saucepan and cook, stirring until the fish is firm and no longer translucent.
  2. Stir in the flour and milk and cook, stirring until thickened.
  3. Stir in the cheese, spring onion, dill or mixed herbs and additional seafood. Set aside to cool.

Chicken & Mushroom Filling
30 ml butter
250 g white mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
2.5 ml mixed dried herbs
125 ml standard grade flour
125 ml milk
30 ml cream or sour cream or yoghurt
250 ml cooked chicken, shredded or finely diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Place the butter into a saucepan and sauté the mushrooms, garlic and onion for about 5 minutes or until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  2. Stir in the herbs and flour and add the milk and cream. Bring to boil while stirring and cook until a smooth thick sauce is obtained. Set aside to cool.

Recipes by Carolié de Koster.