Here in Serbia all pies are made with filo pastry. It’s not that we don’t know how to make an American style pie (I love those pies!), :) but if you ask for a pie here, this is what you’ll get – weather it is sweet or salty, with cheese or meat, or with fruit, it is always made with filo pastry. And we have lost of different types of filo pastry. Some are paper thin and they are used for making Baklava, some are pretty thick and used for Gibanica. The main recipes are the same, but everybody here has their own tweaks. Some pies are made by rolling the pastry, some by putting the pastry flat in the baking pan. For Burek for example, it’s needed to make the pastry from scratch, which is something a very few people know how to do (except professional bakers of course).That’s why we buy Burek in the bakery. :)
And we are mad about our pies. They are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner, pretty easy to make and serve to a crowd of people or to bring to a party or a picnic, great when warm and fresh but also the next day.
And here is how I make my mincemeat pie. :)
For a big pie (serves ten to twelve people easily!) I used 1 kilogram of filo pastry, not too thin of course.
For the filling I used 800 grams of minced meat (pork or beef , or a mix), about four big onions, two cloves of garlic, two medium potatoes, salt and pepper.
Chop the onions and fry them in a pan where you added about half a cup of oil. You will need that much oil because this pie needs it but also because you won’t be using it much later in the process. So, after the onions are softened, add chopped garlic and meat. Try to break up the meat so it’s not lumpy. Then add grated potatoes and fry for a three or four more minutes, until it’s all combined.
Then add salt, and you will need to add a bit more than you like, because the pastry isn’t salted and also the eggs and milk you will add at the end (you will see later) will be unsalted too, so you will have to make up for that. And one of the most important things when making this pie is to add at least one, maybe one and a half tea spoons of ground pepper. You need it to be not overwhelming, but to taste the pepper when the pie is done.
I start by oiling the baking pan and then putting three sheets of pastry with just a little bit of sprinkled oil between them.
As you can see, I didn’t want them to be completely flat because this way I get a better texture when the pie is done.
Then I take the filling and add a little bit of it here and there.
Then add two more sheets of pastry, or three if it’s very thin,
and repeat the process until you use all your filling and pastry, but leave three sheets for the top!
Now to finish the pie: whisk lightly five eggs with a fork, add about 200 ml of milk and 200 ml of yogurt, or just milk, or just yogurt, or yogurt with sparkling water. :) I used all three – water, milk and yogurt. But you can use what you have on hand. Then pour that over your pie and (very important!) cut the pie to allow it to soak that milk and eggs a little.
Leave it for ten or fifteen minutes, and then bake at about 190 C (375 F) until it’s nice and golden on top. :)
You may have to adjust the temperature of your oven because every oven is different; another useful information- you can make the pie several hours before baking (or make it in the evening to have it the next day), just don’t add eggs and milk until it’s ready to go into the oven. If you make it the night before, wrap it in foil and put it in the fridge.
Most people like the edges, I like the soft middle part. :)
It’s rich and it needs beer or wine! LOL!
It is SO good! I had to make it big this time because we had guests and I wanted to serve them something delicious but also to serve them just one thing, and this pie is really enough on it’s own. You don’t need anything else with it, except maybe a salad. And yogurt for the kids. :)
That’s how we eat here in Serbia, and in my home. Not all I cook or bake is “strong” like this pie, but we do love our traditional food with lots of flavors.
I hope you like this recipe and I hope you will try making this pie. You will love it!
Have a great day! :)