Cooking Classes

9.6.16

Phyllo Balkan Feta Torte with Spring Herbs

I recently visited a new business in Moose Jaw, SK  -  Coteau Hills Creamery. There are precious few cheese makers in this province so the opening was an event to be celebrated. I came home with their Balkan style feta. It is softer and saltier than the Greek style but just as versatile.



Here is a bit about Kirby and Crystal, the owners:


The British Columbia wine industry was good to Kirby and Crystal Froese but after almost two decades it was time to return home to Saskatchewan. “We really wanted to come back to our hometown of Moose Jaw to be with our families. Our nieces and nephew were growing up fast, our parents were getting older, too,” shares Kirby.
It didn’t take long for their entrepreneurial spirit to resurface and after researching various opportunities cheese making seemed like a natural transition from wine making. “Time, temperature, pH, hygiene and patience are elements of both businesses.” They are a dynamite combination to have their own small business. Kirby was the winemaker and Crystal worked in communications and marketing.
They opened the Coteau Hills Creamery with a 750 litre (200 gal) batch pasteurizer/cheese vat. Local milk is delivered every second day from Caroncrest Farms at Caronport, SK and two other local dairies. Milk is pumped directly into the vat and is held at 63 C (145 F) for 30 minutes before it is processed into cheese. As production increases milk will be delivered daily.
Kirby and Crystal are setting their sights on distributing their cheese throughout the country. In order to be federally registered to sell outside of the province, a “Certificate of Analysis” must accompany all the ingredients and come from a Canadian Food Inspection Agency registered facility.
Their first cheese is a Balkan style feta and will be available soon. It is softer and creamier than a Greek feta and saltier.
Next they plan to experiment with other small batch handmade cheeses without using additives to increase yield or add colour. A hamburger cheddar and a brie style are in the works. They are also working on a saskatoon berry rubbed tomme style cheese, which has a lower butterfat content, firmer and with a rind, for release in August.

Phyllo Balkan Feta Torte With Spring Herbs
This is much ligher than a dip and can be heaped with microgreens for a dramatic effect. Serve with crostini or crackers, if you wish.
1 c. fresh whole-milk ricotta 250 mL
3/4 c. Coteau Hills Creamery Balkan style feta 175 mL
2 large eggs
1/3 c. chopped soft spring herbs or baby greens (any combination of dill, mint, sorrel, chives, dandelion, parsley, arugula) or pesto 75 mL
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper 2 mL
1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted 75 mL
1 box phyllo dough, thawed overnight in refrigerator
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
In a large bowl, combine ricotta, feta, egg, herbs and pepper.
Brush 6 1/2 inch (16.5 cm) spring form pan with some of the melted butter. Drape 2 sheets of phyllo on top of Bundt pan. Do this with 2 more sheets placed perpendicular to the first 2 sheets. Continue adding phyllo sheets in this crisscross manner until all sheets are used. Edges of phyllo should hang over edges of pan.
Scrape half of the ricotta filling into pan. Spread pesto over the cheese. Spoon the rest of the ricotta mixture on top. Fold edges of phyllo over filling. Using a sharp knife, poke at least 10 holes in dough that reach all the way to bottom of pan. Slowly pour melted butter over torte. Some butter will seep through holes and some will remain on top of dough.
Place pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, or until torte is puffy and golden brown. Allow torte to cool in pan for 1 hour before removing from the spring form pan and serving on a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

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