Greek Cheese Pies

Many restaurants serve cheese pies: sometimes as starters, sometimes as desserts with honey and cinnamon. One of the best was a dessert from Restaurant Kouroupis, in Agia Marina, Crete — and wouldn’t you know it they have the recipe on their website. And to top it off it calls for leaven – so I get to throw in some sourdough as well!

In case Greek’s internet goes down when I need the recipe, I’m copying it here for reference:


Κalitsounia “anevata” from Sitia

For the pastry:
  • 3 kg flour
  • 3 glasses olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 glasses sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fresh yeast (or leaven)
  • 1 ½ glass water

For the stuffing:

  • 2 kg mizithra (traditional all fat white cheese) (crumbled)
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • a pinch of cinnamon

Directions
Disolve the yeast in 1 ½ glass of warm water, add enough flour for the mixture to become thick and give it some time to rise. Then add the rest of the ingredients exept the eggs and again wait for the mixture to rise a litte more. Beat the eggs and add them in the mixture, knead the dough and once more wait for a while to rise.

For the stuffing combine all the ingredients and stir them till they become a creamy mixture.

To make the kalitsounia, roll out the dough forming thin sheets in the size of a small plate. In the middle of every sheet place a spoonful of the stuffing. Then fold the oposite sides to the middle in order to form small squares.

Place them in a warm place (for about 2 hours), then brush them with some beaten egg, sprinkle with some sesame and bake them.


Kilos of flour and cheese!? Clearly this is the restaurant’s recipe for a week’s worth of pies, so I need to scale things down a bit.

Also we can’t get the local Cretan cheese, so we’re going to use a mix of feta and ricotta. Plus we’re sure there was more honey and cinnamon that what they listed for 2kg of cheese, so we’re adjusting those too.

That gives me:

  • 250g flour
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1 medium egg
  • 60g golden caster sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 Tbsp rye starter

I’m must going to add all to the food processor, then let rise before rolling out.

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For the stuffing:

  • 100g feta
  • 100g ricotta
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

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Coating

  • 1 medium egg
  • Sesame seeds

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As for baking… erm… 180C fan for 10-15 minutes? That’s what we’ll start with, and see how it goes.

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They looked ready after 12 minutes.

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Woohoo! They taste just like the ones at the restaurant.

Well flavour-wise they do; to be honest they could have been crispier. I think next time I’ll do 200C fan for 10 minutes, and maybe roll them slightly thinner.

Still: cheese, honey, cinnamon & sesame seeds: delicious.

One thought on “Greek Cheese Pies

  1. My first thought on reading the original recipe was “Wow, how much flour???” Luckily I continued reading down to where you scaled down the amounts. Your results look great.

    Like

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