This recipe that has been a family favorite seems like a nice one to share this week, which for us Orthodox is Cheesefare Week, a.k.a. Butter Week, the last before Lent that we eat eggs and dairy. It was on a post about picnics that I first published it several years ago, but there’s no reason to wait for picnic season to enjoy these hand pies.
I found the original recipe in an unusual place: a newsletter that our power company used to send with the bill, and which always included a recipe or two. They stopped this practice 20 years ago, but these pies became a tradition for me. They keep well and I think they taste best at room temperature.
Changes I made to the recipe below: Use butter, of course, never margarine, and add some salt to the pastry dough. Or just use your own recipe for pie dough. I don’t think I have ever included the cottage cheese in the filling; it seems as though it’s the first time I am even seeing that ingredient in the list!
I like to make the filling the day before assembling the pies. I thought of trying to use fresh spinach next time, but I don’t know how I would figure out the conversion ratio. I’ve noticed over the years that frozen spinach most often comes in 16-oz packages now, and there are fewer stems than when I used to always buy it in cardboard-wrapped blocks. I’m sure you could just use the whole 16 ounces.
Also, I would never say “pah-stees,” because my husband’s Cornish ancestors made pasties nearly every day for the men to take into the mines for their midday meal, and they pronounced the word “past-ease.” Are we to think that Florentines would say anything different?