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Lathopita: Semolina Pie with Almonds

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Photo of Greek Semolina Pie with Almonds - Lathopita - Ladopita

Semolina Pie with Almonds

N. Gaifyllia

In Greek: λαδόπιτα, say: lah-THOH-pee-tah

The Greek island of Lefkada is known for its Semolina Pie, a dish often served at New Year's (instead of the traditional Vassilopita) and other special occasions. Recipes for semolina pie often call for separate preparation of a syrup that is added in after the semolina and flour cook with the oil, but this version includes the syrup ingredients (sugar and water) with the rest of the ingredients.

Semolina pie is similar to halvas pudding and ravani, a cake made with semolina, but has a character all its own.

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups + 2 1/2 tablespoons of water
  • 3 1/2 cups of olive oil
  • 2 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 3 1/4 cups of fine semolina
  • 1 1/5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • whole blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon of white sesame seeds

Preparation:

Add water, oil, and sugar to a pot or deep skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to make sure sugar dissolves. Boil for 5 minutes.

Stir in semolina and stir with a wooden spoon until the semolina is completely combined with the liquids. Add flour, cinnamon, and cloves, and stir continuously, cooking for 10 minutes longer.

Remove pot from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).

Transfer the semolina mixture to a 9 X 11 or larger baking pan and spread out evenly. Score the top in diamond shapes, place one whole almond in the center of each diamond, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 45 minutes.

Yield: About 20 small diamond-shaped pieces (although it can be cut into larger pieces)

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