Kalitsounia- Cretan Cheese Pies Recipe

Kalitsounia

Kalitsounia are Cretan Cheese Pies.

Kalitsounia

Combining the cheese, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, orange and a splash of brandy (optional), creates an unbelievable, sweet cheesy taste.

*Warning: Kalitsounia is addictive! You can never have 'just one.

I thoroughly enjoy making the Cretan cheese pies (while singing & dancing), watching them cook in the oven and then eating one (or a few) hot & fresh out of the range!

*Tip: Add some Greek honey on top of the kalistounia.

I share my family recipe with GCT followers today.

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cupof sugar
  • 1kg of flour
  • 1 cup of strained yogurt (unflavoured)
  • One egg (beaten)
  • Two teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ofvanilla extract
  • juice of1/2 orange
  • 1/4 cup of brandy (optional)

For the Filling:

  • 1kg of fresh mizithra cheese or ricotta or mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • One egg
  • One teaspoon of cinnamon
  • One egg (beaten for glaze)

Directions:

Dough

  1. Mix the dry ingredients (sugar, baking powder and flour) in a large bowl. Add the oil and mix.
  2. Stir in the strained yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until the dough begins to stiffen. Add the orange juice (and brandy) slowly until it becomes a soft dough that does not stick to the fingers.
  3. Knead the dough in the bowl for approximately 10 minutes until smooth, and place aside to rest.

Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Mix the cheese, cinnamon, sugar, and egg in a separate bowl.
  3. On a floured surface with a rolling pin, roll a piece of dough out to a thickness of about 3mm.
  4. Using a round cutter, make small circles in the dough. Place a level tablespoon of filling in the centre of each circle.
  5. Use your fingers and a little water to wet one edge of the pastry, then carefully fold the other half over the filling so you end up with half-moon-shaped cheese pies. Repeat using all the dough and filling.
  6. Transfer the kalitsounia to the lined baking tray and lightly coat it with the beaten egg.
  7. Place the baking tray into the oven and cook for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
  8. When ready, remove the tray from the oven.
  9. Allow the kalitsounia to cool on a rack.
  10. Sprinkle with cinnamon, then drizzle with honey. Enjoy!

*Tip: Do not keep the kalitsounia for more than 4-5 days... although they probably won't last that long in the household.

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