Traditional kasseri cheese pie with pastourma is scrumptious, easy to make, and will win glorious reviews at your dinner party or Sunday brunch.
My grandma Evgenia always made this kasseri cheese pie with pastourma for Christmas dinner, and it was the star of the dinner table. Grandma was a fierce cook, and this pie would have serious competition, including roasts, decadent potatoes, and cheese pies. It would always win, with many competing for the remaining slices.
What is a pita Ceasarias?
Pita Ceasarias is a Greek/Turkish phyllo pie with kasseri cheese, tomato slices, and pastourma (or pastirma) meat slices. It is named after Ceasaria (Kayseri),a big Turkish city near Cappadocia. Greeks also called pastourmadopita.
What is pastourma or pastirma?
How to make this pie
Pastourmadopita – cheese pie with pastourma and kasseri is easy to make. Ingredients are phyllo sheets, a little butter, tomatoes, kasseri cheese, and pastourma. If you can’t find kasseri you can use sliced provolone.
I thinly slice the tomatoes, about 2-3 mm each slice. I pat them dry with a paper towel or drain in a strainer for 5 minutes to remove excess moisture.
The kasseri cheese gets thinly sliced also.
I butter a phyllo sheet and place it on the bottom of the pan. I add a couple of more buttered sheets and then layer kasseri cheese, pastourma, and tomato slices. I follow with another round of cheese slices cover with phyllo. I score it, sprinkle black sesame seeds (or poppy seeds) all over the top, and bake.
Detailed measurements as well as instructions can be found on the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Tips & substitutions
I live in the Northeast, so in the winter, I like to use Campari tomatoes. They are the closest in taste to Greek tomatoes and can be found all year round in grocery stores. There are also organic options available. Camparis are small, so I use about 6-7 of them).
You can use provolone, it has a similar taste and texture to kasseri and will work great in this pie.
Sure you can. You can use the pie crust from this spanakopita recipe if you like. You can also use puff pastry for this pie.
You can substitute it with thinly sliced pastrami.
You might also like:
- The classic Greek spinach pie – spanakopita is a great dish all year round.
- For an easy and yummy appetizer, try these feta cheese puff pastries with leeks and dill.
- A savory and delicious pie is the Cretan boureki – potato & zucchini pie.
- This Greek ratatouille – briam is SO good and can be a main or a side dish.
Check all the pantry items a Greek kitchen wouldn’t go without.
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Kasseri Cheese Pie With Pastourma – Pita Ceasarias
- 8 phyllo sheets
- 20 slices kasseri cheese
- 20 slices pastourma pastirma from beef
- 2 tomatoes thinly sliced.
- 5 tbsp butter melted
For the top
- black sesame seeds optional
- poppy seeds optional
- Preheat oven to 380 F.
- Lightly butter bottom of pan and sides.
- Sprinkle butter all over a phyllo sheet. Place it on the bottom of the pan with sides hanging out. Butter another and place on top of first phyllo in a cross way. Repeat with two more buttered phyllo sheets using the same method.
- Add a layer of kasseri cheese. Add a layer of pastourma. Add a layer of tomato slices.
- Sprinkle a pinch of cumin all over tomatoes. Add the remaining slices of kasseri. Cover with 4 buttered phyllo using the criss-cross method.
- Bring in the excess phyllo and roll it in to create a border. You can trim it a little if you need to before rolling it in.
- Lightly butter the top and score it. Sprinkle black sesame seeds all over the top. You can also use poppy seeds, regular sesame seeds, or nothing at all.
- Bake until top is a light golden brown (about 50 min depending on your oven)