Tag Archives: greek pastry

Baklavá

Baklavá is probably the most famous Greek dessert.  Even though it is considered to be  typical for Christmas,  this rich, crunchy, syrupy delicate pastry  can be found in every pastry shop all year round in the country. More or less it is made in the same way, preferably using walnuts in the filling. A combination of walnuts and almonds is also frequently used.

 

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Greek biscotti with ouzo and almonds (paximádia)

Biscotti are lovely biscuits, a bit harder than the usual biscuits as they are baked twice, hence the origin of the word from the latin phrase bis coctus- twice baked.

In Greece we call  them “paximádia”. We not only make sweet paximádia, but also savory ones. Today we’ve got the most popular version. Paximádia that are flavored with Greek ouzo and made even crunchier by adding almonds!

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Galaktoboúreko (Greek milk pie)

Galaktoboúreko is a Greek dessert, probably the most popular in the country, often served at feasts, such as birthdays, name days, Christmas etc.

It has almost all the elements that characterize Greek pastry, which means that it is a syrup based dessert made with phyllo sheets. Yet what makes it unique and tremendously popular is the wonderful luscious custard cream that is spread between the layers of the phyllo sheets drenched with abundant lemon flavored syrup.

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Melomakárona

Melomakárona is the name of our traditional Greek Christmas cookies. They go back in time, in Ancient Greece, when they were usually served after a funeral. But those cookies were made without honey, whereas the ones we eat today are dropped for a few seconds in a syrup made with honey. Thus the first part of the word “melo” deriving from the word “méli” meaning honey in Greek.

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Happy Easter!

We’re in the middle of the Holy Week, a few days before Easter Sunday. This implies a bundle of preparations that need to be done. A thorough and meticulous house cleaning, dyeing eggs in a bright red color, baking tsouréki – a kind of sweet bread  flavoured with  mahlepi and kakoulé- and baking a huge amount of our traditional Easter cookies. Greek Easter cookies are extremely delicious and tasty but there are two key factors that distinguish them from any other cookie. First of all, the use of fresh butter made from sheep’s milk and secondly the use of baking ammonia as a leavening agent. While the cookies are being baked, the house fills up with the beautiful scent of the butter and the strong odur of the ammonia which of course cooks off during baking. This ingredient is essential in order to obtain the wonderful crispness of the cookies. And as Greek women say “There’s no Easter cookie without ammonia”!

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