Kalitsounia are Cretan Cheese Pies.
Combining the cheese, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, orange and a splash of brandy (optional), creates an unbelievable, sweet cheesy taste.
*Warning: Kalitsounia are 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 oven!
*Tip: Add some Greek honey on top of the kalistounia.
I share my family recipe with GCT followers today.
For the Dough:
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1kg of flour
- 1 cup of strained yogurt (unflavoured)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- juice of 1/2 orange
- 1/4 cups of brandy (optional)
For the Filling:
- 1kg of fresh myzithra cheese or ricotta or mascarpone
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 egg (beaten, for glaze)
- In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (sugar, baking powder and flour) together. Add the oil and mix.
- 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.
- Knead the dough in the bowl for approximately 10 minutes until smooth and place aside to rest.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- In a separate bowl, mix the cheese, cinnamon, sugar and egg together.
- On a floured surface with a rolling pin, roll a piece of dough out to a thickness of about 3mm.
- Using a round cutter, make small circles in the dough. Place a level tablespoon of filling in the centre of each circle.
- Use your fingers and a little bit of 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.
- Transfer the kalitsounia on the lined baking tray and lightly coat with the beaten egg.
- Place the baking tray into the oven and cook for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
- When ready, remove tray from oven.
- Allow the kalitsounia to cool on a rack.
- 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.
Check out our other recipes here:
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- Horta Vrasta- Greek Boiled Leafy Greens Recipe
- Spetsofai- Greek Sausage and Peppers Recipe
- Mussels Saganaki Recipe
- Greek-inspired lamb burgers Recipe
- Patsavouropita- Greek Rag Pie Recipe
- Spanakorizo- Spinach and Rice Recipe
- Bourekia Me Kima- Mince Filled Pastries Recipe
- Sokolatopita- Greek Chocolate Cake Recipe
- Loukoumades: Greek Honey Puffs Recipe