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on a dare

Yesterday morning I opened my computer and did what I do each morning. I checked my email, I made sure my blog post was posted correctly, and then I went on Facebook. The first thing I saw on FB was a post from my high school and FB friend, Cynthia.


Did you see that? A dare was issued to me on social media. I had to try this recipe now! I was dared! So yes, I made it. And yes, it’s pretty great. Although there were some serious omissions in the original recipe…

… such as the importance of placing the bottom round of dough onto parchment paper or a baking sheet before adding the filling. Let me tell you, it is impossible to move the dough with the filling on it from the counter to a baking sheet! But no worries, I suffered through that error and I’ve rewritten the recipe to reflect such an important detail.

sunflower spinach pie

I also amped up the filling to my liking and added other little details that were obviously done on the original recipe but not mentioned in the instructions, such as using an egg wash and placing seeds on the center section.


All in all, a great recipe that just needs a bit more explaining and details. And it really is easier than it looks to make. It would be perfect for Easter! Trust me, you can do it!

serve a piece

Sunflower Spinach Pie

3  1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon salt

16-ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3/4 cup ricotta
1/2 cup mascarpone
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 egg, lightly beaten
1  1/4 cups grated Parmesan, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
1 tablespoon salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)


Dough: Place all the ingredients in a bowl and use either a hand-held mixer or stand mixer and combine until the dough just begins to come together.

2 dough rounds

Then turn it out on a lightly floured surface and knead until it comes together completely and is smooth. Divide in half, flatten out into disks, and wrap each half in plastic. Refrigerate while you make the filling.

drain spinach

Filling: Place the spinach in a strainer and squeeze out as much of the water as you can with your hands. Then place the spinach in a few layers of paper towels and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Place the spinach in a medium bowl.

add cheeses

Mix the spinach with the ricotta, mascarpone, and mozzarella.

add egg and parm
Blend in the egg, 1 cup of the Parmesan, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes. Mix well. Set aside.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough disks to create two circles, 11 to 12-inches in diameter each. I used the bottom of an 11 1/2-inch tart pan to cut out perfect circles.

11 and half inches

Transfer one round of dough to a sheet of parchment paper or to a Silpat mat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Blend the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese with the Panko bread crumbs together in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the dough top to help absorb the moisture of the filling and to keep the dough dry. Slide a baking sheet (rimless) under the parchment paper or Silpat that the dough is sitting on.


Distribute the filling in a ring around the edge of the dough, as shown. Then place one large dollop of the filling in the center of the circle, as shown. Brush the outside edge of the dough round with egg wash. Use the same egg wash to brush the dough around the center mound a filling.

top layer

Next, cover with the second circle of dough and use a fork to press together and seal the edge of the round.

fork th edges

Place a small bowl in the middle of the pie, around the center circle of filling, and press firmly. Lift off the bowl and use your thumb to press and seal the dough rounds together around the center mound of filling where the ring from the bowl was formed. Replace the bowl after sealing it together.

bowl cut

Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into pieces approximately 1-inch thick, keeping it attached at the center, as shown.


Twist each slice and continue around the circle until each slice is twisted.

egg wash

Now remove the bowl from the center. Brush the entire surface of the pie with the egg wash. Place a few pepitas on the center round area of the pie to resemble a sunflower.


Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Allow to cool for at least 12 minutes before cutting and serving.

a piece of the sunflower

Serves 10 to 12

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1 Marissa { 04.10.14 at 12:12 PM }

This looks delicious!

2 Ronnie Jaap { 04.10.14 at 2:50 PM }

I love it! will try for Easter.

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