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Kreatopita is a type of Greek meat pie made with meat such as lamb stuffed into phyllo dough and spiced with ingredients such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Small kreatopitas may be served as appetizers, and larger portions can be used as individually wrapped entrees. This dish is one of a large family of savory phyllo dough pastries which includes spanakopita and teropita. Some markets may sell fresh or frozen kreatopita, and this food can also be easily made at home.
The base of kreatopita is phyllo dough, a type of very thin wheat dough which is typically brushed with oil or butter and layered so that when it is cooked, the resulting pastry comes in the form of flaky, rich layers surrounding a filling. Phyllo dough is still made by hand in some parts of Greece, but it is extremely challenging to make, and most people purchase commercially produced phyllo which usually comes frozen. If you've had bad experiences with phyllo dough in the past, remember to allow it to completely thaw in the fridge overnight, and work quickly once you have opened the package, as the dough starts to dry out and crack apart rapidly.
The filling for kreatopita and other savory phyllo dishes usually has a base of feta cheese, eggs, and a soft farmers' cheese which can be replicated with ricotta or cottage cheese. The lamb is cooked with onions and garlic before being added to the filling, and then the spices are added. Cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg are all very common in phyllo dishes, and they may be sprinkled between the layers of dough while the dish is made as well as being mixed into the filling.
To make kreatopita, the cook spoons out a small serving of filling onto a sheet of phyllo and quickly wraps it up into a square or triangular shape before lightly brushing it with oil or melted butter. Another sheet of phyllo dough is wrapped around the parcel, and the process is repeated until the filling is encased in several layers of phyllo dough to make a secure pocket. Laying the phyllo dough out onto a flexible mat can help with the folding process, since it allows the cook to fold the mat, rather than handling the phyllo dough itself.
Once a cook has made a set of kreatopita, they are baked until golden brown and they can be served hot or cold, depending on personal taste. Cold kreatopita can make an excellent lunch on a warm day, while hot kreatopita can be filling and soothing in cool weather. Kreatopita can also be served as mixed appetizers along with other phyllo dough pastries with fillings like spinach, olives, or cheese.
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