Badjina is a Greek regional pie made mainly in Thessaly.
In Greek they call this pie ξεβράκωτη (ksevrakoti) meaning without its underwear, as it is a pie without its knickers, the phyllo. It is the most easy of all Greek pies and no skills are required to make it plus it tastes terrific. The most difficult part of the whole procedure is to grate the pumpkin but I use the food processor and have this done in five minutes.
I had heard of this pie before but never tried it until last February when I participated in a cooking contest. One of the judges and chefs, Giannis Baxevanis made this pie but I was so nervous that I don’t remember anything about the recipe. Since then I’ve been wanting to make this pie but never got around to it. Last Tuesday when I went to the farmers market I bought some butternut squash to make it for my entry for Savory Pies.
I searched the internet for a recipe and found only a few. I ended up with this one as like most of the Greek recipes it was a bit vague as to the ingredients and instructions. My Greek friends who may read the recipe in Greek will see that I have made a few changes. First of all I reduced the quantity of the olive oil used, from 2 cups to 1 1/2 cups, I added eggs, I used two kinds of cheese (feta and goat cheese, instead of only feta) and I used two kinds of flour (instead of 1 kilo self raising flour, I added half the quantity of flour and half corn meal).
A simple recipe with no herbs or spices just to highlight the taste of the pumpkin and the cheese. I was tempted to add some spices but good thing I didn’t as the result was excellent.
I know that a lot of feta is involved, which is quite expensive. However, if where you live you can buy barrel feta ask to buy the leftover crumbles. It’s way much cheaper and that’s what we usually do in Greece for all our pies. If you find it too expensive to make add half the quantity of feta and another type of cheese, maybe ricotta if it is cheaper.
This is my first entry for my event Savory Pies and hope that by the deadline, which is the end of September I shall introduce you to a few more Greek pies.
Badjina, the naked pie
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Bakingtime: 1 hour
- 1 pumpkin or butternut squash or courgettes, about 1,3 Kg (After been peeled and seeds removed)
- ½ Kilo self raising flour
- ½ kilo corn meal
- 1 ½ cups of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 500 grams of feta
- 100 grams of goat cheese
- 3 eggs
- 2 spoonfuls of margarine
- Freshly grated black pepper
Peel the butternut squash or pumpkin and with a spoon remove the seeds and strings.
Grate the pumpkin and mix all the ingredients reserving one cup of cheese and the butter.
You should have a thick batter.With half the butter grease the baking tin and add spread the batter, which should not be higher than 2 cm in the tin.Add the crumbled feta cheese on top as well as little pieces of margarine.
Preheat oven at 180 degrees centigrade and bake until golden brown, for about 1 hour.
The mixture was too much for my tin, so I made a small one in a pyrex which I covered with cling film and placed in the freezer for next week