Patsavouropita

Remember that lady I told you about who would bring snacks to the beach? We’re gonna talk about her again here as she is also the person who offered my first Patsavouropita (and this recipe). Kiria (Mrs.) Eleni spends her summers in Halkidiki each summer (like our family): she’s from nearby Thessaloniki and we’re travel from Canada). I’ve remembered this lady for as long as I’ve been coming to Nea Kallikratia (Halkidiki) in 1980. Kuria Eleni and my mom became friends (and ultimately our families) when we bought our summer home in 1989.

My mother and Kiria Eleni have become close friends, our families hanging out at the beach together, going into town for a bite, grocery shopping together and, entertaining in each other’s homes. Kiria Eleni is a widow but she’s still surrounded by three sons, three nifes (daughter in-laws) and many grandchildren. Kiria Eleni finds herself often having to cook or offer snacks to this extended family that drop by her summer home. Beach homes make for popular summer destinations.

When you have all these family members dropping by, quick dishes have to be prepared, in fact – some with some ingenuity. Here’s where the Patsavouropita comes in to play. Patsavoura has a double meaning here: in Greek slang it’s a rag or swab used to wipe floors and this word is also used as a slight towards a woman of low moral character…”h patsavoura” is likened to calling a woman a tramp. Now that I’ve taught you a Greek put-down, time to bake. Patsavouropita is a play on patsavoura and it’s name alludes to the “rag look” of this savory pie.

The preparation of this quick, easy and delicious pie uses commercial phyllo pastry, now widely available (supermarkets, Greek and Middle Eastern markets), melted butter, a filling of crumbled Feta cheese, ricotta, milk, eggs and…….? A can of club soda! Yes, I’m still intrigued but that’s what Kiria Eleni used and after gleaning some other Patsavouropita recipes, I see that a few other ‘nikokires” (Greek homemakers) throw a can of club soda into the mix. The club soda (sparkling water) give the Patsavouropita a light, fluffy texture, some lift to the pie. No worries, there will be no fizzy bubbles tickling your nose as you eat this delicious savory pie!

Here’s now it works: the phyllo pastry defrosts overnight in your fridge and the next day we can bake this savory cheese pie. Mix your filling in a bowl, melt your butter and pre-heat your oven. We’re ready to assemble the Patsavouropita. A deep baking dish/tray is well-greased and assembly begins by taking a sheet of phyllo and pouring about 3 Tbsp. of filling all over the surface. Now we gather the phyllo up with your fingers by pinching it in inch-by-inch until it looks like an accordion. You should now have a long folded strip of phyllo with the cheese filling in between. Transfer the phyllo to your baking tray and repeat this step until all your phyllo sheets have been folded/pinched with the cheese filling and your tray bottom has been blanketed with phyllo.

All that’s left to do is brush the top of the phyllo sheets with melted butter and then…just pour one can of club soda over the entire surface. Bake until just golden, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few moments before cutting. Enjoy warm or re-heat later. I promise you this tray of Patsavouropita will vanish in minutes!

Patsavouropita (Αλμυρή Πατσαβουρόπιτα)

1-12″x16″ deep baking pan

1-454gr. package of phyllo pastry (thawed overnight in your fridge)

1 stick of unsalted butter, melted (about 1/2 cup)

1 350 ml. can of club soda (sparkling water)

Filling

2 cups of Feta cheese, crumbled

2 cups of ricotta cheese

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk

fresh ground pepper, salt to taste (if any)

Pre-heated 375F oven (middle rack)

  1. The evening before, transfer your package of phyllo from the freezer to the fridge and allow to thaw overnight. The next day, prepare your filling. In a large bowl, add the milk and eggs and beat with with a spoon. Now add the crumbled Feta cheese and ricotta and mix well (mash any larger pieces of Feta with your fork). Add some fresh ground pepper and salt (if necessary).
  2. Take your phyllo out of the fridge and allow to thaw for 15 minutes (or come to room temperature). Pre-heat your oven and have your filling at hand. Grease the bottom of your baking tray with butter or some olive oil.
  3. Take a sheet of phyllo and place on your work surface. Pour about 3 Tbsp. of filling over evenly over the phyllo sheet and fold over an inch from the bottom and with your fingers holding the ends of the phyllo. continue to fold and pinch the phyllo together, causing the phyllo to gather like an accordion. Repeat this step until your filling and phyllo are used up and the tray bottom is filled (the Portokalopita gets folded in a similar fashion).
  4. Now using a brush, paint the top of the phyllo (in the direction of the phyllo (horizontally) with your melted butter and as soon as the oven has reached 375F, open the can of club soda and pour it all over the surface of the phyllo. Place the baking tray in the oven (middle rack) for 35-45 minutes or until golden-brown.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut into square pieces and serve as a side, snack, as part of a buffet or with a soup or salad.

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© 2007-2010 Peter Minakis

© 2010 – 2017,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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34 Comments for “Patsavouropita”

says:

Wow, Peter, thank you for sharing this – the secret ingredient to the most amazing pita I ever tasted in Greece. It was in northern Greece 25 years ago, and since that time I’ve tried to figure out how it gets that light and fluffy texture while still using traditional thin filo … it’s the club soda. I am off to the store to buy and can and try this out. Thank you!

says:

Very interesting. I followed you here from Twitter. It is not phyllo I fear, but Greek Cooking! This tart looks do-able though!!

Dawn

says:

Peter, Do you think this could be done with galotobouriko filling??? I think
it could, but what are your thoughts on the club soda part? Just a thought… and by the way I will absolutely try this savory version as well.

says:

Dawn, the club soda? Definitely thought it to be weird but I took the leap and poured the can over the phyllo. When I saw the phyllo puffing up in the oven, I was excited to taste this cheese pie. Winner all the way.

says:

Amazing about the club soda! I’ve never heard of such a trick (hu hhuh no pun intended) but I am sure to try it! There is nothing better than phyllo and feta!

says:

Interesting! A neighbor gave me a similar recipe (it’s all about the club soda) but without the ricotta and with 5 eggs, not three. She works the phyllo into little bundles (not long rolls as here). Either way it’s delicious! And easy (I call it the Rice Krispies Squares of pites it’s so easy). I often make the eggy version for brunch and serve with a salad. I have the recipe, “Dina’s Dishrag Pie”, in the back of my travel memoir, North of Ithaka (sorry for the shameless plug, but the coincidence is too tempting to resist). Am going to try this long rolled ricotta version soon. Great photography on your blog and love the recipes, btw. I’ve made the lavraki to great success and am trying the whiting tonight. If you take special requests, I’d love to see a recipe for lachanodolmades; I searched your site a few weeks ago but came up dry. I found one online elsewhere and made them and they came out ok, but I need more instruction on how to use the cabbage leaves (i.e. which ones to select, and which parts of them to use), and you’re always so thorough (and the photos help). Just a suggestion…

tcmaryf

says:

I learned to make this years ago from a woman in the town years ago. I used to make it quite often, but has been so long since I have made it that I literally forgot all about it. Only difference was she did not use ricpotta in the filling, but some myzithra and instead of the club aoda this wonderful lady used 7-Up. The pita was a little sweeter, but definitely awesome. It has been years since I made it and thnx for reminding me. The 7-Up might work for Dawn who wished to make a sweet version.

tcmaryf

says:

I had forgotten all about this. I used to make it years ago, but never knew the name. A woman in the town taught me, but she did not use ricotta, instead she used myzithra. And in place of club soda she used 7_Up. Dawn, thought the 7-Up might work for you, definitely sweeter. I am so very glad you reminded me of this. Had I written it down in first place I would not have forgotten about it. Thnx

says:

Patsavouropita is great and so easy to make! One of my favourite pies. Soda is the key to success though, otherwise it becomes a bit dry. Great post Peter!

Gerald

says:

Dear Peter,
These pictures are worth a thousand words, they speak for themselves, and the taste ….EH..MAMMAMMIIIA.
Keep the nostalgia coming on. Ephkharisto polli!!

says:

Hello Peter,
my name is Artemis Tsipi and I first “met” you on line at the 1st Greek Food bloggers Camp in Athens the previous month, hearing through satellite your own experience on food (greek) blogging abroad!
I’m glad to see patsavouropita recipe which is actually very common in many places all over Greece. This summer I had the luck to savour sweet patsavouropita in Rethymno, Crete, every morning at breakfast made by the very kind wife of the hotel owner where we spent our holidays! It tasted like sweet bougatsa with a rich cream, light syrup and lots of cinnamon and sifted sugar all over the top!
Keep on doing this great job!

Anthe

says:

Hi Peter

Thanks for the blog and your great recipes. I first found you when a friend at work asked me how to make Gouvarelakia and I couldn’t remember off hand and looked up the recipe and found you. great pics! I have been salivating over the giouvarelakia ever since. Now I saw your great recipe for patsavouropita and will make that and bougatsa for Thanksgiving. Love the way your write. I’m from NY, my father was from Kefalonia and my mother from Athens and she was of Asia Minor descent so she had many wonderful recipes for glyka and food.

Thanks again,

Anthe

Christina

says:

Interesting! Do you think this would work for a spanakopita? I’ve got one done as a spiral sitting in my freezer, and I’m scared that I made the filling too dry. I normally bake my pites directly from the freezer, so do you think I could pour the club soda over the pita while frozen and then pop it directly in the oven?

Demetra

says:

Hi Peter, How much spinach would you add to make a spinach patsavouropita? Thanks for sharing your expertise with us. Demetra