Tahinopita with Halvas

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Good Friday is one of those days during Lent when we abstain from eating oil, so this dessert will fulfill your needs all day long as their is no oil in this recipe and it is very filling and tasty.

Tahinopita is a bread made with tahini and one of the most popular posts in my blog.  Today I used the basic recipe   included in my Cookbook page 100 and tweaked it to make something different.

To make this tahinopita with halvas  follow the same instructions and make the dough.

For the filling you will need:  Tahini, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, halvas (any flavour you like) and orange juice.  If you want it vegan, instead of adding honey, you may add more sugar.

Halvas

Mix tahini with honey and add brown sugar, mix and taste  until tahini is sweet enough for your taste.  Add the orange zest and orange juice.  Add as much as orange juice needed to make tahini runny.   When the right consistency is achieved, break halvas into small pieces and press them with a fork.

Roll out phyllo, following the instructions in the book and add some of the filling.  Make into a roll, twist it and place in a baking tin, staring from the centre, forming a coil.

When done, bake until golden on top.

While it is baking prepare a syrup with 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups water, lemon rind, 2 tbsps lemon juice and one piece of cinnamon stick.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for five minutes.

When tahinopita is baked, while it is still hot, using a spoon, wet tahinopita all over with the syrup.

When it cools, cut into pieces and store in an air tight container.

This recipe is linked to my event Creative Concoctions #3:  Desserts.

Kalo Pascha (Happy Easter)

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Bougatsa Nistisimi (Vegan)

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Bougatsa is the name of a hand made phyllo which is then made into  pastries which can either be sweet or savory.  It can be made with semolina cream, with feta cheese, with minced meat, with spinach, with potato etc.     This is a speciality in the towns of Serres and Thessaloniki, in Northern Greece but it has become so popular that you will find “Μπουγατσοπωλεία” (pr. Bougatsopolia) all over Greece,  selling only pastries made with this thin phyllo.

Bougatses are street food and are usually sold in small fast food shops or bakeries,  selling all types of pastries such as tyropites (cheese pies), spanakopites (pl. for spanakopita, which is quite popular abroad and is a spinach pie), loukankopites (sausages pies), piroshkis, peinirli etc.  In these shops you can only find the pastry with the sweet cream filling.

You can find out more about the history of  Bougatsa and a recipe  in my other blog.

I have made Bougatsa with homemade phyllo several times based on Shiamishi.  Shiamishi (page 120 of my cookbook), and bougatsa have a few similarities as the phyllo is based on the same technique and the filling  is  also a semolina cream with a mastic flavour.   Instead of being baked, shiamishi is deep fried.  To make bougatsa I have used  the semolina cream of galaktomboureko (page 127 of my Cookbook).

You can make bougatsa as one big pie or smaller individual ones.

After making Bougatsa many times with a wonderful result, I decided to make “Nistisimi Bougatsa” , making the cream with coconut milk and using olive oil and vegetable margarine.

Bougatsa Nistisimi, Recipe by Ivy

Ingredients:

Shiamishi Pastry phyllo, made with olive oil (recipe in my cookbook)

For the filling

1 cup semolina
¾ cup sugar
3 mastic resins, pounded with 1 tsp sugar (or use 1 tablespoon lemon zest)
250 ml coconut or almond milk
2 cups water
2 tbsp blossom water (optional)
1 tablespoon margarine

Directions:

Put the water and milk, together with sugar and mix on low heat until lukewarm and the sugar dissolves.  Add the semolina, mastic or vanilla and start mixing with a balloon whisk until it sets.  Mix in the margarine and blossom water until the cream thickens.

Empty the cream in a baking tin or large bowl so that the cream is not higher than 1 cm.  Cover with cling film and set aside until the cream cools.

Roll out the dough, same way as for shiamishi.  Cut a piece of cream and fold the phyllo.  Place in a well oiled tin.

Preheat oven at 180ο C / 350o F and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden.

Serve while still warm sprinkling lots of icing sugar and cinnamon on top.

I am linking “Nistisimi Bougatsa” to the event Creative Concoctions, created and hosted by Ivy, at  Kopiaste to Greek Hospitality.

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Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,