Rejoice spinach lovers, here’s the spinach and cheese pie of your dreams! The pie crust is buttery and flaky and it encases the most delicious and cheesy spinach filling.
For the pie crust:
- 140g butter, cubed (5 oz)
- 270g flour (2 cups)
- 1 tsp salt
- 115ml cold water (½ cup), you might need slightly less or more
For the spinach filling:
- 750g frozen spinach (27 oz)
- 30g butter (2 tbsp)
- 15g flour (1 ½ tbsp)
- 200ml whole milk (¾ cup + 1 tbsp)
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ nutmeg, freshly grated
- 100g grated cheese (3.5 oz), I use Emmental
- 100g goat cheese log (3.5 oz), or you can use feta
- Cook the spinach according to the instructions written on the package. Drain in a colander set over the sink and squeeze out as much water as possible using the back of a wooden spoon. Leave the spinach in the colander and set aside until completely cool.
- Make the pie crust. Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub it in lightly with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. It might take up to 6 min to get this result. Add ¾ of the water and stir with one hand. Add the rest of the water and more if needed to gather the flour eventually left in the mixing bowl. When the dough sticks together gently press it into a smooth ball and flatten it slightly into a disk. Wrap the pastry with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 min.
- Make the béchamel. Melt the butter over medium heat in a heavy-based pan (keep an eye on it). Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 min. Then, gradually add the milk while whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Cook (still whisking constantly) until the béchamel starts to boil, by this time it should have thickened a bit (this recipe is for a liquid béchamel so it won’t thicken a lot). Season with salt, black pepper and nutmeg.
- Prepare the filling. To avoid having a soggy bottom, it’s important for the spinach to be as dry as possible so squeeze out any excess water again. Put the spinach in a mixing bowl and stir in the béchamel. Add the grated cheese and crumble up the goat cheese (or feta) on top. Mix until fully combined and taste the filling. You might need to add more salt at this point. The filling should be slightly over-seasoned because its flavor will be ‘weakened’ by the 2 layers of pastry encasing it.
- Roll the pie dough. Butter a 20cm (8 in) springform pan and line the base with baking parchment. Divide the cold dough; one third for the top crust and two thirds for the bottom crust. Press the 2 doughs into balls before rolling. Roll out the dough for the bottom crust (the bigger one) on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a round 4cm (1½ in) bigger than the base of the springform pan. The rolled dough should be about 4mm (0.2 in) thick. If the dough becomes soft and sticky as you roll, add a bit more flour under the pastry and on the rolling pin. Pick up the rolled pastry and brush off any excess flour. Line the pan with the rolled pastry and ease the dough across the bottom and up the sides of the pan with your fingers. Try to stick the excess pastry over the buttered sides of the mold. It’ll be easier to place the filling if the sides of the pie dough don’t fall over on the filling.
- Fill the pie and roll again! Spread the spinach and cheese filling evenly on the bottom crust. Roll the top pie crust like you rolled the bottom one and place it on top of the filling. Fold the excess pastry over the top pie crust and use your hands to mold it into a rim around the pie. Slit a 2cm (¾ in) hole in the center of the top pie crust. This will allow steam to escape so the pastry will be less soggy. If you have some leftover scraps of dough you can decorate the top of your pie!
- Bake the spinach and cheese pie. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F) and place a baking sheet on the middle rack to heat as well (placing the pie on a hot baking sheet will help baking the bottom of the pie and reduces the risk of a soggy bottom). If using a convection oven, preheat to 180°C (355°F). Place your spinach and cheese pie for 15 min in the freezer while the oven heats up. Place the pan on the baking sheet and bake for 1h10. Cover the top loosely with aluminum foil if it browns too much.
Let the spinach and cheese pie cool down a bit before serving as the pie is much more flavorful only slightly warm or at room temperature.
Leftovers will keep wrapped airtight, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 526
- Fat: 33.3g
Keywords: french vegetarian recipes, spinach pie, vegetarian pie, picnic