Traditional Greek Pumpkin Pie

Greek Sweet Pumkin Pie
Well, it’s that time of the year: Fall! I love this season Halloween, Thanksgiving, leaves falling from the trees, pumpkins, candy. Here in Greece though it is still somewhat warm, but you will see leaves falling from trees as well as olives falling from the olive trees. Halloween is not exactly celebrated here, although in recent years several stores are selling halloween decorations and some expat groups organize “trunk or treat”, so that the kids can still go trick or treating. Even the local Starbucks here have been starting to serve pumpkin spice latte. Speaking of pumpkin, I do have a weakness for pumpkin pies, and here in Greece we have our own version which is a vegan pumpkin pie made with phyllo.

Pumpkins do have a  place in Greek cuisine but mainly in the form of pies: savory and sweet. The savory pumpkin pie is yummy and includes feta cheese, while the sweet pumpkin pie (glikia kolokithopita) is traditionally combined with raisins and walnuts and is vegan since it was consumed often during fasting periods here in Greece. This version here also includes walnuts, olive oil, brown sugar (instead of just white sugar) and a just a touch ginger. No milk, no eggs and no butter.

The crispy phyllo is perfect with the soft sweet filling, making it a fairly light dessert getting the most nutrition from the pumpkin (vitamin A, beta-carotene) without all that saturated fat. It can be served warm (you can reheat it in the oven before serving to get the phyllo crispy) or at room temperature.

Sweet Greek Pumpkin Pie

Yield: 30-36 pieces

Sweet Greek Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain pumpkin puree (go here to make your own-make sure you strain well)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil plus more for brushing phyllo
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup finely ground walnuts
  • 12 phyllo sheets
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 350 Fahrenheit
  2. (180 degrees Celsius)
  3. In a bowl mix all the ingredients except the phyllo and powdered sugar.
  4. On a large surface (like a table). Place one phyllo sheet and brush with olive oil, place a second phyllo on top and brush again with olive oil.
  5. Place filling carefully with a spoon on the edge of the short side of the phyllo and roll carefully into a log. You will put about 4 tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture in each log.
  6. Brush the top and bottom of log with olive oil and place with bottom down in a pan. Make slits on top about 2 ½ inches apart (that is where you will slice them once baked). You can also wind the logs into a shell shape all around a large pan or individual rolls.
  7. Repeat with the rest of the phyllo sheets and you should have 6 logs.
  8. Bake in the lower part of the oven for about 30 minutes until phyllo is golden.
  9. Remove from oven, let them cool for about 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Photo by Elena Paravantes

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14 Comments

  • Reply Patricia Maneta October 19, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    I’ll be looking for a pumpkin this week at the laiki! Your recipe for pumpkin pie, Greek style, sounds easy and like many of your recipes, healthy! Love your site!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD October 24, 2015 at 5:45 am

      Thank you Patricia!

  • Reply Jody P October 19, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    I am not a fan of American pumpkin pie, but this looks delicious.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD October 24, 2015 at 5:44 am

      Thanks Jody!

  • Reply Carla October 26, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    I just made this and it is pure heaven. Thank you.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD October 27, 2015 at 6:44 am

      Glad you loved it Carla!

  • Reply Marion October 31, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    Πολύ ωραία γλυκιά κολοκυθόπιτα Ελενα.
    Με ολα τα φθινοπωρινά αρώματα.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD November 2, 2015 at 6:43 am

      Σε ευχαριστώ Μάριον!

  • Reply Theresa November 6, 2015 at 12:07 am

    How long does it keep? Could i make this 2 days in advance? Thank you!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD November 6, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Yes. It will last, just keep it in the refrigerator and warm up before serving. Dust with powdered sugar right before serving.

  • Reply Bev November 15, 2015 at 4:47 am

    Elena..sounds delicious !
    I am going to make homemade pitta. I have the long, thin rolling pin, the kind my mother in law in Greece uses. Tell me please..what kind of flour do i buy ?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RD November 21, 2015 at 7:34 am

      Hi Bev, Just regular flour!

  • Reply Shirley November 11, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    Can this be frozen? If so, freeze before or after baking?

    • Reply Elena November 13, 2017 at 6:26 am

      Yes, pies freeze fine. If you have time, I would freeze it before baking and then bake it straight out the freezer for the time noted.

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