Lebanese Spinach Pies (Fatayers)
As a child, my family would visit my grandparents in Fall River. Lebanese spinach pies still hot from Sam's bakery were our breakfast treat. My sibs and I have been searching for a recipe for ever. I found this one at http://www.lebguide.com/lebanon/lebanese_cuisine/default.asp Note: You can substitute spinach with unchopped purslane leaves. Recipe didn't include servings or time, so I guessed.
- 5 cups all-purpose flour (plain)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 kg fresh spinach
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 3 large onions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons ground sumac (as desired)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon thickened pomegranate juice (as desired)
Sift the flour into a working surface. Mix in salt and sugar. Make a well in the centre.
Pour olive oil and vegetable oil in the well. Mix the dry ingredients into the liquid.
Add water gradually. Knead the dough into a ball (if the dough is too stiff add some water).
Knead the dough on a floured working surface until it is smooth and elastic this can be done in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, or in a food processor.
Form the dough into a ball and put into a lightly floured bowl, covered with a damp cloth. Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size- about 6 hours.
Prepare dough (ajeen). Leave aside and cover for an hour to rise. Make sure dough doubles in volume.
Remove roots and yellow leaves from spinach. Chop finely then wash well and drain, rub with ½ tspn salt. Drain spinach again with your hands to dry.
Mash the onions with remaining salt. Add pepper and sumac. Add spinach to onion, then mix in oil and pomegranate. Put aside.
Roll out dough using a rolling pin till dough is as thin as possible (5 mm). Invert a tea cup on dough and press to have equal circles.
Place a tbls of spinach filling on each piece. Bring up sides at 3 points to form a triangular shape.
Press edges firmly with fingertips to seal completely (put flour on finger tips to help seal).
Place pies on oiled baking sheets. Bake in a moderately hot oven (200° C) for 30 minutes.