Traditional Greek: Voula’s Pumpkin and Almond Phyllo Pie – Kolokithopita
Nov 11th, 2011 | By Mary Papoulias-Platis | Category: Food, Recipes
When you feast on that special dish your mother created for the holidays year after year, memories from holiday past dinners begin to flood through your mind as you once remembered your first bite! Well, this pumpkin holiday pie does that for me. My mother’s specialty, her pumpkin phyllo pie which she served at our holiday table year after year was lost from our recipe files! So often I searched for something similar to what I remembered. Finally, I had taken a trip to Corinth, Greece where my mother was from and I was so excited to find the recipe but unfortunately I was unsuccessful in locating it. After several hours of experimenting, I developed the recipe to how I best remember it.
The filling is so delighful and scrumptious and truly heartwarming for me, that as it came out of the oven I sat down that evening and enjoyed eating four large pieces! If that’s all I have for Christmas dinner I will be very happy and content. If you ever knew my mother, she would be very happy to know, you can now enjoy this special treat she created for all of us to enjoy this special holiday season!
Makes: 24 pieces
- 1 lb. phyllo dough, defrosted
- 4 cups fresh pumpkin (2 2 1/2 – 3 lb. sugar pumpkins)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup rice, cooked
- 2 small onions, grated and drained
- 2 tablespoon cinnamon 1 cup oil (canola or vegetable)
- 1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds
- 1/2 cup melted butter for phyllo
If using fresh pumpkin begin this recipe the day before. See Cooking Techniques for Roasting Pumpkins
Note: 1 (2-1/2 – 3 lb. sugar pumpkin = 2 cups pureed pumpkin)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut pumpkins in half, scoop out all pulp and seeds and roast cut side down on a foiled covered sheet pan in a 350 degree oven until soft, approx. 1 hour. Scoop out pulp, place in food processor until smooth. Place in a sieve over a large bowl and drain overnight.
Boil the rice until soft. Drain. Finely grate the onion. Drain.
Combine the pumpkin, sugar, and rice in a large bowl. Add the onion, cinnamon, oil, and almonds to the pumpkin. Set aside.
To prepare the pan: Butter the sheet pan. Layer 1/2 the pound of phyllo on the bottom, buttering each layer. Place the filling on top, smoothing evenly in pan. Place the second layer of phyllo on top buttering each layer. Score (cut with a sharp knife) the top only of the phyllo into 4 pieces width by 6 pieces lengthwise for 24 squares. Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour. Let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinnamon!
Mary Papoulias-Platis writes and creates the food blog, California Greek Girl. She is the director at The Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club culinary school in southern California, and her classes emphasize sustainable and local foods from farmers markets and local food producers. Mary owns The Greek Gourmet catering company, which also maintains a yearly Greek concession food trailer at the San Diego County Fair. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.