Greek Pumpkin Phyllo Pie (Kolokithopita)
PREP TIME 40 minutes (plus chilling, optional)
BAKING TIME 40 minutes
3/4 cup butter or extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups grated fresh pumpkin* (or one and a half 15-ounce cans)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup fine semolina
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup Greek thyme honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup finely chopped, lightly toasted nuts (such as cashews, almonds, or walnuts) or raisins
1 box (1 pound) #4 phyllo (14-by-18-inch), thawed, at room temperature
3/4 cup butter, melted, or extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Greek thyme honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped, lightly toasted walnuts (optional)
1. In a large saucepot, melt 3/4 cup butter or heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the pumpkin, reduce heat to medium-low, and sauté until the liquid has evaporated and the pumpkin has softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, semolina, spices, and salt; set aside.
3. Stir the honey, maple syrup, eggs, and nuts (or raisins) into the pumpkin until combined well. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients until combined well. For optimal flavor, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
4. Heat the oven to 350°F. Brush the bottom of a 10-inch round baking pan with butter/oil and line with 10 sheets of phyllo, brushing each sheet with butter/oil, allowing the phyllo to extend over the sides of the pan by at least 1 ½ inches.
5. Pour the pumpkin filling into the phyllo-lined pan and spread evenly to the edges.
6. Cover the top of the pie with 8 phyllo sheets, brushing each sheet with butter/oil. Trim the excess phyllo, leaving a 1 ½-inch overhang. Roll together the top and bottom phyllo overhang under and into the sides of the pan. Brush the top with butter/olive oil and, using a sharp knife, score just the top phyllo layers into diamonds or squares. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is completely golden brown.
7. Make syrup (if syruping the pie): Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the water, sugar, honey, and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Let cool to lukewarm.
8. When the pie is baked, remove from the oven and, following the precut phyllo pattern, using a sharp knife, immediately cut through the filling to the bottom. Gradually ladle the syrup over the pastry, evenly covering it to the edges and allowing it to soak in. Sprinkle with walnuts, if desired. Serve warm or cool the pie on a wire rack until the pan is just warm to the touch, then refrigerate it overnight.
9. In not syruping the pie, sift confectioners’ sugar over the top and sprinkle with walnuts, if desired.
*PUMPKIN NOTE: Use 2 1/4 pounds of raw, skin-on pumpkin to yield 3 cups. Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and stringy portion before grating.
Recipe © copyright Kukla's Kouzina: A Gourmet Journey~Greek Island Style, kuklaskouzina.com
I hope you enjoyed our Greek-style autumn baking with pumpkin. More recipes can be found in our Meze cookbook, available on Amazon!
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