These cheesy beany pies are wonderfully comforting and hearty – the perfect reward for a child’s hard work in the kitchen. Serve with a salad or something suitably light.
Begin preparing your baked beans by warming a dash of olive oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. When the oil becomes hot add the chopped onion and cook for around 5 minutes, or until soft.
Crush the garlic cloves and add to the onions; cook through for a further 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and continue to cook until tender (around 10-15 minutes).
Next add the malt vinegar, brown sugar and tinned tomatoes and stir well. Drain the haricot beans and add to the pan with 100ml (3 1/2fl oz) of water, simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce slightly.
Take off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Leave to stand until completely cool and place in an airtight container (this will keep for up to 3 days).
Create the pies by brushing 1 sheet of the filo pastry with melted butter and laying another sheet on top. Brush the second layer with butter and add another sheet. This will give you a triple-layered sheet of filo. This is a great step for the kids to get involved in, as they can easily brush and layer the pastry.
Cut the layered sheet into 4 even rectangles and leave to one side. In order to stop your filo rectangles from becoming dry, keep them under a damp tea towel.
Repeat to make another 4 rectangles. This will give you 8 rectangles in all.
Preheat your oven to gas 5, 190˚C, fan 170˚C.
Next, prepare the cheese filling by adding the cottage cheese and feta to a large bowl. Beat the eggs – this is a great step for kids to do, as it is a key kitchen skill to learn. Then stir the beaten eggs into the bowl of cheese.
Finish the filling by mixing in the dill and chopped onion. Season with salt and pepper and leave to the side.
Lay out your pie dishes and line each one with a filo rectangle, allowing the excess pastry to hang over the edges. Add 5 tablespoons of the baked beans, and then top up with the cheese mixture until the filling reaches just below the top of the dish.
Gently fold in the overhanging edges of pastry and brush with melted butter to seal. With a knife, score a criss-cross pattern on top, being careful not to cut all the way through the pastry.
Place the dishes into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is piping hot and the top of the pastry is golden brown. Serve right away.
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