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Sfakianopites: Cheese Pies from Sfakia, Crete

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Greek Cheese Pies with Honey

Cheese Pies with Honey

Photo © Jim Stanfield

In Greek: σφακιανόπιτες, pronounced sfah-kiyah-NO-pee-tes

It is customary in Greece for local dishes to be given the name of the area or region where they originated; thus, sfakianopites are named for Sfakia, a lovely area of Crete. These cheese pies, made with ouzo, can be served as a meze with ouzo, raki, or tsikoudia (local spirits), as snacks, appetizers, and as a side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons of ouzo
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 pound of myzithra cheese (soft, sweet)
  • honey for drizzling

Preparation:

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oil, salt, water, and ouzo to make a soft dough. Roll it to a thickness of 1/4 inch at the most. Using a demitasse saucer (or other round cutter with a diameter of approximately 5 inches) cut the dough in circles.

Roll the cheese into balls the size of a ping-pong ball (aproximately 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter) and place a ball of cheese at the center of a circle of dough. Place another circle of dough over it to cover and seal using a fork or by pinching the edges together.

In a hot frying pan, fry the pies with little or no oil until browned on both sides.

Serve hot, drizzled with honey.

This is a favorite accompaniment to tsikoudia, a fiery local spirit.

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