Recipe: Yogurt Pie with Vine Leaves

aglaia june4 yogurt pie post.jpg

Photo by Aglaia Kremezi

A savory yogurt custard wrapped in vine leaves. This unusual recipe was described to me by women working on a vineyard in Drama, in Greek Macedonia, and I included it in my first book The Foods of Greece.

6-8 appetizer portions

• 1 ¼ pounds full fat yogurt, preferably sheep's milk (not thick)
    • 2/3 cup cornmeal
    • 2/3 cup finely chopped scallions
    • 2/3 cup chopped fresh dill
    • 2/3 cup chopped fresh mint
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white or black pepper, or to taste
    • Sea salt
    • 25-30 vine leaves, fresh or frozen (If you use canned leaves, blanch for 2-3 minutes and drain on tea-towels)
    • ¼ cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix the yogurt with the cornmeal. Add the scallions, herbs, pepper, and salt, and stir well.

Oil an oval 12 x 9-inch glass or clay ovenproof dish and line the bottom and sides with half the leaves. Brush with oil and pour in the yogurt mixture. Top with the rest of the leaves and brush with the remaining oil. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes, or until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the pie cool for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting wedges to serve. It can also be eaten at room temperature the next day.

VARIATION: To make individual pies, oil eight 4-inch muffin tins or ramekins. In each lay 2 leaves to cover the bottom and sides and divide the mixture equally. Cover each pie with one leaf, drizzle with olive oil, cover loosely with foil and bake for about 25 minutes, or until set. Turn off the oven heat, discard the foil and let the pies in the oven another 2 minutes. Remove from the oven, invert the tins on a platter, or on individual plates and serve warm or at room temperature.