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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