Food blogger Ichumile Mpumlwana created this light braai meal that's perfect for spring and summer meals. Here's what she says about the dish: "This is my recipe for a delectable phyllo pie made on my Megamaster Origin Series 3 Burner Patio Gas Braai. It’s ready in under an hour and feeds 4-6 people as a starter depending of course on the size of the appetite. I make a lot of pie in my kitchen, usually in the oven, but I wanted to test out how phyllo pastry (a fave!) made on the braai would come out. I’m pleased to report that we have a resounding success. We had this pie as a starter on Heritage Day. You can also serve the pie as a side dish for your braai and accompany it with a cool summer salad or sweet corn to complete the meal."
- 250 g phyllo pastry, thawed
- ½ cup of double thick cream
- 200 g diced bacon
- 400 g baby spinach
- 1½ disks feta, plain or flavoured
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup of leeks, sliced
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon of butter, melted
- 1 egg, for brushing
- Salt and black peppercorns
- Fire up your gas braai and preheat to 150°C. Using your cast iron pan heat the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, leeks and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Add the bacon and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the spinach and allow it to wilt until it reduces to about ¼ of the size. Mix it in well with the onions, bacon and leeks. There will be liquid at the bottom on the pan.
- Add about half of the cream and mix it in. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.
- Take another large cast iron pan and spray generously with cooking spray.
- Take the phyllo pastry sheet by sheet. Brush each sheet with the melted butter and place each sheet in your cast iron pan one by one. The pastry should fall over the sides of the pan.
- Be gentle when working with phyllo because it breaks very easily. But even if it breaks, it's okay – don’t fuss.
- Once all the layers are in the pan, add in the filling, taking care not to add the liquid that's sitting at the bottom.
- Add dollops of the remaining cream to the top of the filling.
- Close off the pie by folding in the phyllo pastry sheets all around. If there is an opening in the centre, you can fold up one sheet of pastry to close it off.
- Beat your egg and use it to brush the top of the pie generously. This will ensure that the pie is nicely browned.
- Place the pan on the braai at 160˚C-180˚C and close the lid. Allow the pie to cook for 20 minutes. Check on it after 15 minutes and decide whether you need the additional 5 minutes (I did).
- Serve the pie warm or cold (I prefer it warm).
MEGAMASTER RECIPE TIPS
It’s perfectly acceptable to buy your phyllo pastry from the shop. Just be very gentle and careful when separating the sheets and buttering them as the pastry tears easily.
Do not overcook the spinach and bacon because they will cook further inside the phyllo pastry.
Make sure that the cast iron pan in which you bake the pastry is well greased on the inside to prevent the pie from sticking to the bottom and sides. I use cooking spray for this but you can also use butter or olive oil.