These amazing cheese-filled sweet pastries are called “Kalitsounia anevata” and are traditionally made in the island of Crete all year round and especially during the Easter holidays. You’ ll need homemade dough and mizithra cheese, a fresh white cheese! Italian ricotta will do the job, too…

Serves: 20-25 pieces Prep. time: 30′ + 1 h waiting Cooks in: 30′ Ready in: 60′

Ingredients
50 g dried yeast
½ cup lukewarm milk
¾ cup sugar
1 kg all purpose flour (approximately)
⅔ cup good quality butter, melted
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 eggs beaten
½ cup strained yogurt (at room temperature)
1 egg white beaten until foamy, for sealing the dough

For the filling
750 g mizithra cheese or any other white fresh cheese
1 egg, beaten
½ cup sugar
3 tbsp honey
1½ tsp cinnamon, powdered
1 tsp vanilla essence (optionally)
1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tsp water, for brushing
sesame seeds

Method
Step 1
Dissolve yeast in milk and stir in 2 tbsp of the sugar. Allow to rise, for about 10 minutes.

Step 2
Reserve 1 & 1/2 cup flour and transfer the rest in a large bowl. Create a little hole in the middle and add butter, oil, sugar, salt, eggs and yogurt. Add yeast mix, stir with a spoon and then start kneading. If needed, add a llitle extra flour until you get a smooth, elastic dough. Cover bowl with a towel and allow to prove and double in size for about an hour or so in a warm place.

Step 3
For the filling: In a bowl mix all ingredients until combined well.

Step 4
Knead dough for a couple of minutes and divide it in 4 balls. Use a rolling pin and open each ball of dough into a 0,5cm filo sheet. Then, cut each sheet in 10x10cm square pieces.

Step 5
Place 1 tbsp filling in the center of each square piece of dough. Brush the edges with egg white, bring the four edges up in the shape of an envelope and pinch to seal the filling. Arrange the kalitsounia on a non-stick baking dish brushed with oil leaving 3cm space between. Cover with a towel and allow to prove for 30 minutes.

Step 6
Brush the kalitsounia with the egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated oven at 180oC for 25-30 minutes until nicely colored.

Photo: Vangelis Paterakis – Food styling: Antonia Kati

Και η συνταγή στα ελληνικά: Καλιτσούνια ανεβατά Κρήτης

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