A few years back, Sunny Spinach Pie was all the rage – recipes for it kept popping up. I loved the look, the idea of twisting off little flower petals of warm stuffed dough to pop in your mouth. Sunny Spinach Pie was very popular on everything from cooking blogs to Facebook pages. Then, poof, it was gone.
The first time I made my own “Sunny Pie” was as a trial run for my guys to sample a week before our big family barbecue. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you might remember the whole back story of Sunny Pies. For those of you who might have missed it, you can always catch up if you like by checking out my recipe for Sunny Pepperoni Pie. The beauty of the Sunny Pie is that you can fill it with just about anything.
The first time I baked this “pie”, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s not really a pie – the dough is more bread-like that pie crust. Yet it cannot be called spinach-filled bread either since it’s not really bread. It’s dense, like Irish Soda Bread, with a nice salty finish. It’s more a cross between soda bread and a calzone than anything else. I really liked it, but my guys had mixed reactions. I guess you need to be a fan of Spinach and Ricotta to appreciate the Sunny Spinach Pie.
While this is amazingly easy to make, I will pass along one important tip. When you are ready to assemble the Sunny Pie, unless you are very brave, do so on your round baking stone. I wasn’t about to try to move the unbaked pie from the board to the stone – it seemed a disaster just waiting to happen.
After baking this once, there are only one change that I needed to make before the big event – brush the dough with an egg wash just before baking. The second time through, the egg wash really improved the appearance of this “sunny” pie.
Senza ulteriori indugi, vi do Soleggiato Spinaci torta.
Sunny Spinach Pie
17 oz of flour
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon salt
12 oz of Cooked Spinach, chopped
12 oz ricotta
6 oz of grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Salt and pepper
Italian Bread crumbs
1 Egg Yolk, lightly beaten
Water or White Wine to thin SLIGHTLY
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using the dough hook, knead until the dough is smooth and combined. Wrap in plastic while you make the filling.
To create the filling, mix the spinach with the ricotta. Add egg, half of the Parmesan Cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well, then set aside.
Unwrap the dough from the plastic and divide it into two equal parts. Lay parchment paper over the round baking stone (pizza stone). Dust lightly with flour. Dust rolling-pin and dough lightly with flour. Using a rolling-pin, roll the first half of the dough out to just under the side of your baking stone, or about 12 inches. Sprinkle the first disk with a little bread crumb, remove from stone by lifting with parchment paper under the disk and set aside.
Cover the baking stone with a second piece of parchment paper. Dust rolling-pin and dough lightly with flour. Roll second dish out to about the same size as the first. DO NOT sprinkle this disk with breadcrumbs. You want to keep it somewhat “sticky”. Lift with parchment paper and remove from dish.
Invert first disk onto baking stone. (Dusted side down). Sprinkle with a little more breadcrumb. This will help absorb the liquid from the filling and help to keep the bottom dough dry. Take care not to get the breadcrumbs all the way to the edge, otherwise the pie won’t seal properly.
On the breadcrumb dough, make two circles with the filling – an outer circle and an inner circle “mound”. Leave room between the circles and along the edge to seal the dough. Sprinkle the filling with the remaining grated Parmesan Cheese.
Place the second dough circle over the top of the filling. Seal the edges by hand, then press with a fork.
Place a small bowl in the middle of the pie over the center mound, and press lightly to make an indentation in the dough. Use your fork to press LIGHTLY around the bowl.
With the bowl still in place, cut the dough into pieces approximately just under an inch.
Once the outer dough has been cut, lift each section and twist back to expose the filling. Continue to lift and until each outer slice is twisted. Remove bowl and brush lightly with egg wash.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven, transfer to a round serving platter. This delight is best enjoyed warm or at room temperature.