Saturday, 27 February 2016

Daring Kitchen February 2016: Katmer Pie

So Daring Cooks is no more. There were not enough people to keep it going, but Daring Bakers and The Daring Kitchen still exists and some of the recipes on there will be cooking rather than baking every so often. So I'll have a go whenever the feeling takes me!

This month we were challenged by Milkica from Mimi’s Kingdom to prepare a traditional Serbian Katmer pie. This one is still baking but I felt like I could cope with it. I'm not much of a cake maker, well complicated ones anyway, give me a traybake and I'm well away, but this Spinach and Ricotta Pie seemed doable. It felt a bit like a riff on a Spanakopita, which I have made before for Daring Cooks. I loved the pastry, which was fun to make and really lovely and crispy. The filling could have done with a bit of chilli or something to pep it up a bit but it was by no means inedible. I love being challenged to make new things and turn my hand to things I would never normally make and The Daring Kitchen really lets me do that.

Katmer Pie


One large pie baked in a dish approximately 16 x 16” / 40 x 40cm (enough for family of six)

4 cups spooned & scraped / 500g all-purpose (plain) flour 1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups / 300 – 350ml warm water
More all-purpose (plain) flour for dusting

2 – 3 tablespoons / 30 – 45g soft lard

Measure all purpose flour, warm water and salt. Put lard in a small bowl and leave on a warm place.

Mix all ingredients except lard in glass or plastic bowl. You will have relatively soft dough. 

Transfer dough on a floured surface and knead it a little until you achieve elastic, but soft dough.

Divide dough in six equal pieces and shape every piece in round form. Leave them to rest 10 minutes. 

Using rolling pin roll every piece of dough into flat, round shape, approximately 1/8” / 3 - 4mm thick. Divide pieces in two groups of three. Brush first piece of dough with melted lard and cover with another piece of dough. Brush second piece of dough with lard and cover with third piece. Do not brush this third piece of dough with lard! Repeat the same with another three pieces of dough.

You will have two piles of dough pieces. Leave them again to rest for 10 minutes. 

Roll each pile using rolling pin into round shape, approximately 1/4 - 1/3” / 5 - 8mm thick. 

Using sharp knife make eight cuts around the formed circle (see picture). 

Brush surface with melted lard.

Fold brushed, cut petals into middle part of dough.

Continue until you fold all eight of them.

Turn the dough so the folded parts are underneath. Do the same with another pile of dough. Leave both pieces of dough to rest until you prepare the filling. 

Given recipe yields enough for one Katmer pie.

2 cups / 500g soft cottage cheese (or ricotta)
1 pound / 500g Swiss chard
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt (amount depends on cheese you use, you should try prepared filling and add more salt if necessary)


Cut Swiss chard into strips and place it in big glass, plastic or metal bowl. Add eggs, salt and cheese.

Mix all ingredients using spoon or your hands. Filling one is ready. 

Turn on your oven on 350°F / 180°C. Roll one of your pieces of dough on a lightly floured surface into large, square or rectangular shape to fit your baking tin. 

Transfer layer of dough on baking tin brushed with melted lard. 

Arrange your filling all over the first layer of dough. 

Roll out the other piece of dough and transfer it to baking tin, covering filling completely. Press edges with your fingers to stick together.

Brush surface of pie with melted lard.

Cut whole pie into small square pieces. Bake pie in preheated oven for around 30 minutes until deep golden in color. 

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