Kalitsounia- Cretan Cheese Pies Recipe

Kalitsounia

Kalitsounia

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.

Ingredients

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)

Directions:

Dough

  1. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (sugar, baking powder and flour) together. 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. In a separate bowl, mix the cheese, cinnamon, sugar and egg together.
  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 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.
  6. Transfer the kalitsounia on the lined baking tray and lightly coat with the beaten egg.
  7. Place the baking tray into the oven and cook for 20 minutes, until lightly browned.
  8. When ready, remove tray from 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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