Hello, MasterChef Australia fans! We’re back once again with a simple(ish) recipe from one of this year’s fabulous contestants. Grace Jupp wrapped up her time on this show after Luke Nguyen’s pressure test but was kind enough to share one of her favourite easy recipes with Lifehacker for our MasterChef at Home series. Here’s her take on spinach and cheese pita.
MasterChef at Home: Pita with spinach and cheese
What you’ll need for your pita:
For the Filo Pastry
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Ricotta
- 2 litres milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 100ml white vinegar or lemon juice
For the Spinach and Cheese Filling
- 4 cups fresh spinach, cooked and sautéed
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup Bulgarian feta cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
For Assembly and Baking
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 10 sheets of filo pastry
- Sesame seeds and pine nuts for sprinkling
- Chutney or yogurt for serving
Directions for your pita:
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
Prepare the Filo Pastry:
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Gradually add warm water and olive oil, kneading until a smooth dough forms. Divide the dough into 10 equal-sized balls. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 30 minutes.
- In a large pot, warm milk to 85°C over medium heat, stirring consistently to ensure the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir in salt.
- Once milk reaches 85°C, add vinegar or lemon juice. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir the pot for a minute until the separation occurs between the curds and whey.
- Remove the pot from the heat, cover it with a lid and let it sit for 10 – 20 minutes, then strain the whey from the curds.
Make the Spinach and Cheese Filling:
- In a bowl, mix the cooked and sautéed spinach with ricotta cheese and Bulgarian feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the eggs until well combined.
Assembly and Baking:
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the cream and set aside. Take one sheet of filo pastry and place it on a baking dish. Brush it with the melted butter mixture. Add a thin layer of the spinach and cheese filling on top of the filo pastry.
- Repeat the layers, alternating between filo pastry and the filling, at least 8 times. Ensure each layer is coated with the butter mixture. Layer 2 extra sheets of filo pastry on top to create a thick top layer. Coat the top with the remaining butter mixture. Sprinkle sesame seeds and pine nuts on the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.
- Serve the pita with your favourite chutney or yogurt. Cut into slices or squares, and enjoy!
If you want more recipes, check out this lazy dinner dish next.
MasterChef Australia airs Sunday to Thursday at 7.30 pm on 10 and 10 Play.
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