Fresh quince and filo, mini pies

Nov 4, 2014


 Housewives and chefs have a shared sense of economy in their kitchens. From the shopping list to the fridge leftovers, food is used wisely and nothing gets wasted when it can still be used in cooking. 
     At our house, the leftovers from the tomato salad we had for lunch would be the base for the tomato sauce in the dinner stew, and the cooked greens I never loved as a kid would turn into a delicious omelet that I would, unsuspiciously, happily eat. But my favorite edition of this cooking trick occurred when my mother would make cheese pies with filo pastry and she would save a couple of sheets to stuff with the last spoonfuls of any jam that had been forgotten in the fridge. The crispiness of the baked filo and the aroma of the hot jam always created a yummy surprise treat because the filling was always different.
    You can make a light last minute jam with any seasonal fruits available, and then make sweet filo pies. I made a fresh quince jam and the taste was superb, not very sweet and full of quince and vanilla aromas.  

Fresh quince and filo, mini pies
Makes 10 mini pies

2 filo sheets
Butter or vegetable oil
400gr fresh quince jam
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

For the jam:
300gr fresh quince, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
150gr granulated sugar
80ml water
Vanilla flavoring

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, put all the ingredients of the jam and cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the juices have absorbed. Let cool.

Cut each filo sheet lengthwise into five strips, about 7cm each (store bought phyllo sheets in Greece are usually 35cm). Cover the filo sheets with a damp kitchen towel, because if you don’t they dry easily and crumble.
Take a strip on your working area and brush with butter. Place a teaspoonful of jam at one end of the strip and fold the bottom edge of the strip over it to form a triangle. Then fold this triangle back on the strip and keep folding along the strip till the end. (see photo with instructions) Do the same with the rest of the strips.
Arrange the mini pies on a baking pan lined with baking paper. Brush with butter and bake in preheated oven at 180 C for 30min or until golden brown. Or fry them in vegetable oil until golden brown on both sides. Place the fried pies on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.

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