crispy & creamy onion & cheese piecrispy & creamy onion & cheese piecrispy & creamy onion & cheese piecrispy & creamy onion & cheese piecrispy & creamy onion & cheese piecrispy & creamy onion & cheese piecrispy & creamy onion & cheese piecrispy & creamy onion & cheese piecrispy & creamy onion & cheese piecrispy & creamy onion & cheese piecrispy & creamy onion & cheese piecrispy & creamy onion & cheese pie

ONIONS are not just something to be added to dishes as a flavoring. They can be the star of the dish because they’re flavor bombs, especially after partly roasting. 

Just as a PIE CRUST is not just a bland vessel to contain the pie fillings because it too can make the dish memorable, through its exceptional (and hopefully not soggy) crispy and flaky texture !

This preparation could be called a quiche but when pies are made with filo pastry sheets, they’re often called pitas or bureks and usually include eggs but no cream and some type of cheese, usually being feta. Quiches, on the other hand, always include many eggs and cream and grated cheeses. 

There are similarities as well as differences between the two types of preparations but were just going to call this dish a “PIE” because we’re simple folks, or at least trying to be.

The ingredient ratios and instructions for this creamy and crispy pie are simple to remember. 

The filling is composed of half partly roasted, thus softened and partly dehydrated onions and half heavy cream, cream cheese, feta cheese and eggs. To go even further, the liquid filling mixture (excluding the onions) is two-thirds cream and cheeses and one-third eggs.

The pie crust is one third of the total weight of the pie filling and composed of approximately two-thirds filo sheets and one-third melted butter and olive oil. 

All in all, you’ll have a pie that is three-quarters filling and one-quarter crust.

It’s true that filo isn’t easy to work with, because it tends to dry out quickly, especially when you need to fold it or stuff it or wrap it around a filling but this pie is open-faced with filo only on the bottom and the sides and layering the butter or oil-drizzled or brushed sheets is rapid, solidifies them, avoids them from drying out and makes them easy to press and shape into a baking dish. Simply cut off the excess if there is too much of an overlap and try not to forget to snip the overhanging filo sheets where you except to slice the pie after baking it, to avoid cracking the exposed drier baked filo when you’ll slice up the servings.

I used a rectangular enameled baking dish measuring 22 cm x 28 cm x 3 cm high, that is appropriately smaller than the rectangular filo sheets, measuring approximately 30 cm x 40 cm each. Filo is best baked in enameled or glass dishes but other non-stick type of baking dishes are good too.

And to end this long-winded explanatory introduction, I sliced the onions thickly and kept the onion rings intact, not only because of the visual impact but also for a textural contrast to the surrounding creamy filling and crunchy and crispy outer crust.

That’s my story, so get baking and/or experimenting and have a nice weekend … :)

p.s.: I realize that with lockdown and curfews, it might be difficult to get some of the more exotic ingredients like feta cheese and filo dough sheets so feel free to replace the filo with puff-pastry dough preferably or a regular shortcrust pastry dough and perhaps some cottage cheese mixed with soft and mild goat cheese and some extra added salt could replace the feta cheese.

crispy & creamy onion & cheese pie

20.02.2021

6 servings x 215 grams each

ingredients

roasted onions (540 grams after pre-roasting) :

  • 825 grams onions (750 grams when peeled and sliced and then 540 grams after partly roasting and reducing in the oven)
  • 2,5 ml (½ tsp) white vinegar
  • 10 grams (2 tsp) fine sea salt
  • 2 grams (½ tsp) ground pepper
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

filo crust (360 grams) :

  • 250 grams (10) filo sheets (25 grams each sheet)
  • 55 grams (4 tbsp) olive oil 
  • 55 grams (4 tbsp) melted butter (sweet or salted)

filling (1080 grams) :

  • 540 grams (3 cups) pre-roasted sliced onion rings
  • 120 grams (½ cup) light or heavy cream (or sour cream or crème fraiche)
  • 120 grams (½ cup) cream cheese, whipped
  • 120 grams (1 cup) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 180 grams (3 extra large or ¾ cup) eggs, beaten
  • 5 grams (2 tbsp) flat leaf parsley leaves, whole or chopped
  • optional : 2 grams (1 tbsp) chives, chopped

instructions

  • preheat oven to 190°C
  • peel the onions, slice them crosswise (not from top to bottom) in 1 cm thick rounds minimum, keep the sliced assemblies whole without separating the rings, spray with some white vinegar, sprinkle with the salt and ground pepper and place on a baking sheet covered with baking paper, previously brushed with ½ tbsp of the olive and also sprinkled with some of the salt and pepper, drizzle the remaining 1 ½ tbsp of olive oil on top
  • bake the onion slices for 15 minutes until slightly roasted, softened and dehydrated, then remove from the oven and let cool down completely
  • combine the melted butter with the olive oil, generously brush the baking dish with 1 tbsp of the melted butter and olive oil and set aside
  • lay out one sheet of filo, drizzle each sheet with almost 10 grams (2 tsp) of the melted butter and olive oil, brush the edges well, then lay the next sheet on top and repeat until all 10 sheets are drizzled and the edges brushed with olive oil and press them flat and lay the overlayed sheets into your baking dish and press it in well, leaving an overhang of 2 cm extending beyond the edges of the baking dish (cut the excess filo sheet overhangs and lay the extra strips on the inside of the bottom of the crust for a thicker bottom)
  • prepare the filling by whipping the cream cheese with the heavy cream and combine the mixture with the beaten eggs and set aside
  • crumble the feta into smaller pieces into a separate bowl and set aside and prepare the parsley leaves (and/or chives)
  • preheat the oven to 190°C (again)
  • lay half of the roasted onion rings inside the filo crust, sprinkle with half of the crumbled feta cheese and fresh herbs, pour half the cream, cream cheese and egg mixture evenly on top and repeat with a 2nd layer of the onion rings, the crumbled feta and then the cream, cream cheese and egg mixture again, sprinkle with more fresh herbs and some ground pepper
  • before baking, use a scissor to pre-cut the overlapping edges according to the number of slices you will be serving (to avoid cracking the overhanging filo after it is baked, when you slice it completely) and brush or spray the outer edges of the crust with water (to avoid them from over-baking or burning)
  • bake the pie for 30-35 minutes until golden and crispy (or freeze it for later and thaw it out for 15 minutes before baking but increase the baking time to 45 minutes)
  • *note : preparations with filo freeze very well before being baked but should not be simply refrigerated when raw before or after baking, simply bake immediately after assembly and then leave on the counter after baking and for extra crispiness when reheating, spray with some water …
  • remove from the oven, let cool down for 10 minutes and carefully slice into 6 medium or 4 larger pieces and serve with a green salad.