Cheese & onion pies

Cheese & onion pies

By
From
The Islands of Greece
Makes
20, enough for 4–8 as a meze
Photographer
Steven Joyce

These little half moon-shaped pies, pitarakia, are from Milos. Vinegar may seem like an odd addition to pastry, but it really does work. I found a similar recipe in a book, The Best Traditional Recipes of Milos Island, a collection of lovely old hand-me- down specialities, kindly given to me by the daughter of the author, Chrissoula Vihou. She and the mayor of Milos sent me on my way with a huge basket of Milos delicacies: dried tomatoes, pasteli sesame sweets, spoon sweets, local honey, preserves and hand-made pasta, from the shop, Paradossiakia Edesmata, in Adamas, which every food lover who goes to Milos must visit.

Dough

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g plain flour, plus more to dust
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for frying
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
100ml water

Filling

Quantity Ingredient
40g grated pecorino romano
160g grated gruyere
4 shallots, grated

Method

  1. Mix the flour, oil, vinegar and salt together in a large bowl, then gradually add the water, mixing with your hands. Stop adding water when the dough is firm; don’t allow it to become sticky. (Add a little more flour if you accidentally add too much water.) Knead it for 2 or 3 minutes until the dough is smooth. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix all the filling ingredients together.
  2. On a floured work surface, roll the pastry out until it is 2 mm thick (you may need to do this in batches unless you have a very big counter). Using a round 10 cm cutter (or a saucer), cut out circles of the pastry. You should be able to make 20 if you collect up and re-roll the trimmings. Wet your finger and run it round the edges of each circle. Then, place a heaped spoonful of filling on one side of each. Fold the pastry over the cheese to form a semi-circle. Press the wet edges together with the tines of a fork.
  3. Warm about 5 mm of olive oil in a wide frying pan over a medium heat. Working in batches, fry the pitarakia in the oil for 1–2 minutes a side until golden and the pastry has bubbled slightly. Keep warm while you cook the remaining pastries, adding more oil if necessary, bringing it up to temperature before adding the next batch. Eat while hot.
Tags:
The Islands of Greece
Rebecca
Seal
Greek
Greece
Europe
European
Mediterranean
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